• It looked as though Cressy, who will now enter the world’s top 100 for the first time, was going to be the first player to take a set from Nadal at the Melbourne tournament.
• Meanwhile, world number one Ash Barty was in imperious form on Sunday as the Australian handed Elena Rybakina a 6-3 6-2 defeat at Memorial Drive to win the Adelaide International and claim the 14th WTA title of her career.
Rafael Nadal took the Melbourne Summer Set title in his first competitive tournament since August as the Spaniard prepares for the Australian Open.
World number six Nadal, who missed the end of the 2021 season with a foot injury, beat American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.
The 35-year-old 20-time major champion is preparing for the Australian Open, which begins on 17 January.
“It means a lot to be back and with a trophy in my hands,” Nadal said. “I feel privileged and a very lucky guy to be here again. I am coming back from some challenging moments in terms of injuries, so I can’t be happier.”
It looked as though Cressy, who will now enter the world’s top 100 for the first time, was going to be the first player to take a set from Nadal at the Melbourne tournament.
The American had set point in the opener, but struggled with his serve and Nadal took advantage to take the first set before coming from a break down to seal victory in the second for his 89th tour title.
Meanwhile, world number one Ash Barty was in imperious form on Sunday as the Australian handed Elena Rybakina a 6-3 6-2 defeat at Memorial Drive to win the Adelaide International and claim the 14th WTA title of her career.
Barty, who won the event in 2020, dominated against the 22-year-old seventh seed from Kazakhstan to win in just over an hour, as she hits form a little more than a week ahead of the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
"The work that I do with my team behind the scenes puts me in the best possible position to play good tennis time, and time again each and every time we're asked," Barty told reporters. "I certainly feel pretty good coming into the summer.
"I feel good leading up to an Australian Open like I have every year. Each and every preparation is unique, each and every preparation is different.
"So we take it for what comes and what it is, move on, try and do the best that we can in every opportunity, whether that's here in Adelaide or it's in Melbourne."
The 25-year-old took command midway through the opening set after being forced to save two break points in the seventh game, fighting back to win despite a double fault.
The home favourite capitalised on an error by her opponent after she put what should have been a straightforward winner into the net and Barty then hit an ace to hold.
When the failure to convert that opening rattled Rybakina, the Wimbledon champion ruthlessly took advantage to put herself in a match-winning position.
Barty carved out a break point opportunity of her own in the next game that she immediately converted. From there the Australian took command.
Rybakina's difficulties grew early in the second set, a double fault handing Barty another break in the opening game.
Barty, who has not dropped serve since doing so against Coco Gauff in the tournament's opening round, chalked up seven straight games with another break, to take a 4-0 lead before closing out a comfortable win.