'Rafael Nadal’s going to be foaming at the mouth', says former No.1

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'Rafael Nadal’s going to be foaming at the mouth', says former No.1

In his 80th Australian Open match, 20-time Major Champion Rafael Nadal got off to a winning start in Melbourne following a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 win over Laslo Djere in one hour and 52. minutes. The 2009 Australian Open winner injured his back during Adelaide's quarantine two weeks before the first Major of the season, skipped the ATP Cup, and hoped to get off to a safe start in the first official match of the season.

Rafa lost serve once and scored six breaks in 11 chances, controlling the score and passing the first obstacle without problems. Rafa held out at 30 in the opening game with a winning serve and forced Laslo's error in game two to take an instant break.

The Spanish endured at 15 in the third game to confirm the break and settle into a good rhythm. Laslo got his name on the scoreboard with a forehand in the fourth game before Rafa broke it with a forehand winner in the sixth game for a 5-1 lead after a quick 24 minutes.

Djere recovered a break a few minutes later to extend the set and opened a 30-0 lead in game nine before Nadal claimed four straight points to close the set 6-3. The Spaniard had four excellent service turns in the second set and broke the Serbian when Laslo scored a backhand in the third game.

Djere survived two more break opportunities in the seventh game to stay within a break deficit, coming back at 4-5 to stay in the set.

Roddick comments on Rafa Nadal

In this context, Andy Roddick recently opined that Rafael Nadal would be itching at the chance to win the record-breaking 21st Major in the absence of nine-time champion Djokovic.

"We don’t know what’s going to happen with Australia,” former world No. 1 Andy Roddick said on Tennis Channel. “Nobody knows except Novak what he’s going to do and if he’s going to play the game the way it has to be played to participate in Australia."

The former US Open champion also asserted that Rafael Nadal would back himself a lot more to clinch his 21st Major. “If he doesn’t, opportunity’s knocking for Medvedev, Zverev, Rafa’s going to be foaming at the mouth to get there and get to that 21st Slam so these other guys, they have to play their tournament either way," Roddick added.

"We used to say who’s the next generation that’s going to compete for Grand Slams,” Roddick said. “Well they’re here, they’re doing it, they’re winning big titles, now it’s how long is the Big 3 going to hang on and be part of this conversation. We’re seeing the transition”.