Doubts about Rafael Nadal always go through the physical section, they are far from his tennis level. The Spanish tennis player, 36 years old and current number two in the world, has already solved his first match at the Australian Open and although he did it in four sets, he assured that he felt wonderful after his victory over the British Jack Draper.
“Physically I have worked well. I am considerably thinner than I have been in recent years. I have been working hard in recent weeks on a physical level so that the results end up arriving. It has been a breakthrough for me.
I have won an important game. When you work, the results come. As I say, physically I’m not bad. I’m more or less fast on my legs. In tennis it is difficult to separate things. When you are confident and hit without thinking, you are better on the track and go to places better.
Without having all the automatisms right now as standard, I think I’m fast on the track. I’m training well and I just need to extend the good times,” said the top Grand Slam winner. Regarding the abdominal injury that affected him during the final part of the season, 2022, he indicated: “I am fine.
Of course, when you tear your abdominal twice, it takes longer to heal. I had a difficult few months when it came to serving to throw the ball high. Unconsciously, you throw the ball in a different way so as not to force it. I had to work a lot on my serve”.
Nadal will have to recover energy to face the American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. Do you think the physicality of the Spaniard will be enough to successfully defend his crown at Melbourne Park?
Nadal is among the favourites
Novak Djokovic remains the clear favorite to win the 2023 Australian Open title, but Rafael Nadal is a close second, believes Djokovic’s PTPA co-founder and Canadian tennis star Vasek Pospisil.
“I hope he (Djokovic) wins it,” Pospisil told Stadium Astro. “I would consider him the favorite, absolutely. If you have to pick a favorite, it’s hard to pick someone else. Having said that, obviously there are so many great players and incredible talents put together for one week.
Obviously, just him being Rafa, clearly he’s got a great chance of winning as well, and it would have to be right up there. Right below Novak as favorite I would say,” the Canadian added.
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