Rafael Nadal won his first and only Australian Open final in 2009, eleven years ago. From that one victory, the tournament became haunted for Rafa, who was no longer able to win, despite the finals reached. In 2009 the Spaniard defeated Roger Federer in five sets, also beating his rival in a final on hard-court, after his French Open and Wimbledon victories, in what was his fifth victory in a Slam final against Federer.
From that season onwards Nadal played another four finals in Melbourne: in 2012 he lost to Novak Djokovic, in 2014 in the unexpected final against Stan Wawrinka, in 2017 in the unforgettable final against Roger Federer and in 2019, last season, once again against Djokovic.
In 2014, it was a back injury that limited him in the final loss against Wawrinka. In 2017 final against Federer, Rafa was ahead in the fifth set by a break, but he lost sensationally thanks to his opponent's backhand.
Last year, Djokovic gave him a hard tennis lesson in the final. In other editions, between injuries and sensational defeats, he never managed to conquer the title. Maybe things are different this year. At the beginning of the Slam Nadal starts as a favorite with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
After the first round matches, we have seen that Melbourne Park hard-courts are slightly slower than in previous years, and this can help Nadal's tennis. Could Rafael Nadal break the Australian Open course? Yes, this year Nadal will have the chance to win the tournament eleven years after the last time.
In the first-round match, he won in straight sets against Ugo Dellien, sending a clear message to all his rivals, including Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.