Nuno Borges had a couple of very unlucky injuries in recent months. The Portuguese twisted his ankle leading against Gastao Elias in the semifinals of the Oeiras Challenger and was sidelined for about a month. In his second match back, he fell and injured the other ankle, just a game away from victory against Filippo Baldi.
Borges played his first match since the second injury on Tuesday at the Warsaw Challenger. He was able to defeat Lucas Catarina 6-3 7-5. “Yeah, I gotta be. I came out with a win [against] a guy who’s been playing,” he replied when asked whether he was satisfied with the performance.
“It wasn’t the easiest conditions for the both of us. Having to wait for the rain, the courts are very heavy, conditions are different. But I think in some way it helped me, because he probably likes the court a little faster, and I took advantage of that.” Their match was initially planned for Monday, but had to be delayed due to continuing rain. Even on Tuesday, it took the organizers a couple of hours to get the courts ready.
Borges had a couple of dips in the second set, at one point Catarina even served to level the match. “Even though I had a lot of ups and downs in the match, I gotta be happy with just being out here and being able to play, and being able to finish the match without, you know, getting injured.”
The recently injured Portuguese is wearing braces on both ankles, but they do not restrict his movement. “I’m a little slower and my forehand and backhand don’t feel so well. I just need to play a lot more matches to start feeling better but I think everything will come with time.”
The 24-year-old spent four years in the United States, playing college tennis for Mississippi State. “The opportunity to go there was a blessing. It really taught me a lot, I matured a lot in these four years. I’m more aware of what I need to do, what’s my game, what makes me good. College taught me that throughout these four years.”
Borges progressed to the second round, where he will face Javier Barranco Cosano. The lefty grinder is in very good form at the moment (made Luedenscheid Challenger quarterfinals last week), and should give the 24-year-old a serious test.
Embed from Getty Images