The defending champion does not make mistakes in his debut. Rafael Nadal prevailed in the first round of this Australian Open by beating Jack Draper in four sets: 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 and 6-1 over the British, fatigued during the match due to cramps.
It was the first win for the world number two in 2023, after two United Cup losses against Alex De Minaur and Cameron Norrie. An important victory for his way to the Australian Open, but not only that. Against the young Briton, Nadal achieved the 1068th victory of his career.
This result allows him to climb the ranking of the players with the most victories on the professional tennis circuit and reach the top 3: the Spaniard becomes third, tied with Ivan Lendl. The climb, however, is still within the reach of the current number two in the world, starting with the Australian Open.
In this special classification, Rafael Nadal has his rival and friend Roger Federer in his sights: 1,251 victories in the Swiss’s career. He is therefore 183 behind the other former world number one, who recently withdrew from the circuit.
At the head of the classification, as in the tournaments won, is Jimmy Connors: for the American there are 1,275 victories in his career. For Nadal, however, the possibility of overtaking Lendl remains. The opportunity comes at the Australian Open, with a possible second round, where the Spanish number two will face the American Mcdonald.
Meanwhile, still chasing the Spaniard is Novak Djokovic, fifth in this ranking: for him, there are 1036 wins from his Spanish rival, so only 32 wins between the two.
Rafa Nadal is fighting a lot
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.”
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