Rafael Nadal has qualified for the second round of the 2023 Australian Open. The Spaniard showed up in Melbourne with many doubts, having played little and badly in recent months. The former world number 1 had lost the two matches played at the United Cup (against Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur), revealing a condition far from optimal.
The AO draw hadn’t been kind to him, as the first obstacle in his path was Jack Draper’s name. The defending champion prevailed in four sets over the young Briton, who suffered a physical problem in the last part of the match.
The 36-year-old from Manacor didn’t seem 100% fit, but he was able to raise his level of play in the situations in which he needed it most. His goal is to grow as the days go by, and then play all his cards in the second week.
At the press conference, Nadal confided that he is feeling very well physically.
Rafa Nadal lost weight
Qualified for the second round of the Australian Open when he was predicted hell against the young and dangerous British, Jack Draper, Rafael Nadal has once again shown himself to be more physically solid than his opponent.
Data so important for the Spaniard that he even lost weight during the off-season as he revealed in the post-match press conference. “Physically, I did well. I am much thinner than I have been in recent years. I have been working hard in the last few weeks on the physical level so that the results finally come.
Today (Monday) I had a breakthrough. I won an important game. When you work hard, results come. Like I said, physically I’m not bad. My legs are more or less fast. In tennis, it’s hard to separate things. When you’re confident and hit without thinking, you’re better positioned on the court and hit better in the right places.
Without having all the automatics as standard, I think I’m fast in the field. I train well and I just need to extend the good times.” British tennis sensation Jack Draper heaped praise on his opponent Rafael Nadal: “I mean, he’s an iconic player, like I said before.
The way he uses the spin on the forehand, the lefty patterns, the way he competes. I wasn’t surprised by anything,” Draper said. “He’s just an incredible player, incredible competitor, and a real role model. It was a real privilege to be out there with him. Hopefully, I get to play him again,” he added.
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