Australian Open 2023: Rafa Nadal regains confidence in time to pass the first test at the Australian Open


Rafael Nadalin his eighteenth appearance at the Australian Open, has qualified for the seventeenth time for the second round of the tournament. He only failed in the 2016 edition when he gave in his debut against his compatriot Fernando Verdasco.

Much was expected of Jack Draper, his 20-year-old rival who is ranked 38th. The British stood up but ended up giving up 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 and 6-1, in 3 hours and 41 minutes. He opens his box of triumphs in the course, something that resisted him in the United Cup.

In the next round awaits you the American Mackenzie McDonald, 65 on the lists and executioner of his compatriot Brandon Nakashima. There is only one precedent between the two with the Spanish walk on the ground of Roland Garros 2020 6-1, 6-0 and 6-3.

There are already 77 matches won by Nadal on the courts of Melbourne Parkhis second most successful major, but still far from the 112 he has at Roland Garros.

Draper served at 6-5 to force sudden death in the opening set. At the moment of maximum pressure his arm wrinkled. He made a drop shot that stayed in the middle of the court and Rafa crushed him with a right cross that was unattainable for a giant of 1.93 meters.

The Rod Laver Arena had dressed up for the occasion. There was not a pin to see the defender of the crown. The first seed in the box wore orange and celebrated his lead on the scoreboard with a visible celebration.

the manacor needed the win after having lost six of their last seven matches. The lack of confidence that marked his presence at the US Open, Pars-Bercy, the Masters Cup and the United Cup has turned into good feelings despite his 46 unforced errors.

Draper has a lot of serve, but he was unreliable to the rest. He had only scored five points since the return in the first set, three of them in the eleventh game, in which he reached the deuce..

Rafa had had his moment of discussion with the chair umpire asking the ball boys to help him with the towels to take less time to serve. “they are too far“, he said. He received a negative response from the referee.

In the first game of the continuation, Jack made his first break option. I took advantage of it and Nadal messed up. The result. in a seen and not seen, it shot up to 4-0 for Jack.

The match was temporarily interrupted twice due to rain. Carlos Moy tried to correct his pupil when he approached the band.

The 22-large champion does not run the ball. In the previous one he had already warned of the poor quality of the balls, which quickly lost tension.

Nadal avoided the donut saving two ‘break’ balls for 5-0. He took a little air before a rival who was beginning to believe it and did not give up.

Matches won by Nadal in each ‘Grand Slam’

Australian Open 77-15

Roland Garros 112-3

Wimbledon 53-12

US Open 64-11

The sun came out and that was like a light of hope for the Spaniard. Its effects did more damage and Draper noticed something strange in his leg. He was always a little late for the balls. He requested medical assistance before losing serve in the fourth game of the third set.. He turned it in with a double fault.

With 4-1 against, andhe 21-year-old received massages on his right leg from the tournament physiotherapist. When he seemed dead, Draper revived and tied at four games.

So much energy had been left in the comeback that he paid for it by giving up the next two games. Third sleeve for Rafa and his opponent directly to the locker room.

The Englishman went through the shower and even changed his clothes: he went from white to green. Refreshing the idea had its reward because I enjoyed three ‘break’ balls. took the third.

What happens is that Nadal was not willing to let him escape because a fifth set would become a real toss-up for the final result.

How is it possible that there is no water in the fridge on the track?“, the shooter warned the chair umpire when he passed through the change chair. He had put the direct towards victory to the joy of the fans.

Draper is good and more than will be. Nevertheless, his physicist played a trick on him with 15 years younger than his executioner. You already have something to analyze when you return to the UK.

With leg cramps and a kinesiotape bandage on his abdomen, Jack gave up the serve again. The games were falling at maximum speed against him. A total of five that they sent him home and that put Nadal in orbit to choose to revalidate the title.

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