Since the 2022 Us Open, he has accumulated a balance of five defeats and only two victories, achieved in the group stage of the Nitto Atp Finals against the Norwegian Casper Ruud and in the Australian Open debut against the British Jack Draper.
Undoubtedly, it is not a good period for Rafael Nadal, who as defending champion was already eliminated in the second round in the first Grand Slam of the 2023 season. The Spaniard still had to battle with a physical condition that was not in his best moment, facing a rival (the American Mackenzie McDonald) who took advantage of his physical problems to add victory at Rod Laver Arena.
The start of the year for the Mallorcan was completely different from that of 2022, in which he simply made the difference in all the cement tournaments played. Through the first week of competition, already on Wednesday, a new champion is certain to be in Melbourne, as the 36-year-old (number one seed) has been no stronger this time than physical setbacks.
A situation that possibly reopens some scenarios and could allow other tennis players to aspire to the final trophy. In addition to the five setbacks that he has suffered in his last seven matches on the ATP circuit, Rafa will have to face important news, certainly negative.
In fact, the winner of 22 Grand Slam titles will undergo some not insignificant changes in his position in the world ranking, given the almost 2,000 points he will soon lose. According to current ranking projections, the Spaniard will drop to 3815 and will surely be surpassed by Norway’s Casper Ruud, his rival Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and even Russia’s Andrey Rublev.
Nadal suffered a heart-breaking loss
Rafael Nadal suffered a heart-breaking loss at the 2023 Australian Open. “I didn’t ask them. I am old enough to take my own decisions. So I didn’t want to retire, to be defending champion here.
No, I didn’t want to leave the court with a retirement. Better like this at the end. I lost. Nothing to say. Congratulate the opponent,” he remarked. “That’s the sport at the same time. Just try your best till the end. Doesn’t matter the chances that you have.
That’s the philosophy of the sport. That’s the essence of the sport by itself. I tried to follow that during all my tennis career, and I tried of course to not increase the damage, because I didn’t know what’s going on,” he added.
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