I can’t say situation is ideal…: Rafa Nadal on prepping for Australian Open


Rafa Nadal said that he is positive about the new tennis season despite a rough start. Following an injury-ravaged 2022, the world number two lost United Cup mixed team event opener to Briton Cameron Norrie last week and then fell to Australian Alex de Minaur, who claimed a 3-6 6-1 7-5 win on Monday. Even then, he feels he has no reason to feel alarmed ahead of the season’s first Grand Slam starting in two weeks.

“Six hours on court almost. I need hours on court. I need battles like this,” Nadal told reporters. “I didn’t play much official matches the last six months, almost seven. Days like these two help.

“Of course with victories the process is faster, but I need to keep fighting. That’s it. For moments, I played a good level of tennis. Playing good with the backhand. Changing directions with the forehand.”

Last year, Nadal needed pain-numbing injections on his foot to get through the French Open and pulled out of his Wimbledon semi-final with an abdominal injury. Even then, he feels he is physically fine but needs to improve his speed and be more dynamic ahead of the Melbourne Park major.

“I have two weeks before the Australian Open starts. I can’t say the situation is ideal but at the same time I can’t say it’s negative, because for moments I was playing good,” Nadal said.

“I think that two matches is going to help me. I need to win a couple of matches. But the level wasn’t that bad. Putting in perspective that I arrived needing a little bit more time.

“… I’m not too alarmed, too negative about what happened. I think it was a real chance to lose these kind of matches. Last year I lost two matches in Abu Dhabi, and that’s it.”

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