'Everyone was thrilled when Rafael Nadal got off the plane', says analyst

The 2009 champion will next face Yannick Hanfmann in the second round

by Simone Brugnoli
'Everyone was thrilled when Rafael Nadal got off the plane', says analyst

The Australian Open has officially begun, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. There will be no number one in the world Novak Djokovic, we all know the well-known events of these weeks but the tennis played finally begins.

Let's analyze this week's ranking. In the upper parts of the rankings there are few movement with all the tennis players waiting to start Melbourne, in the Top Ten Rafael Nadal returns to the top five who overtakes Andrey Rublev.

Good news for the blue colors with the young South Tyrolean tennis player Jannik Sinner who makes his return to the Top Ten and overtakes Hubert Hurkacz who loses points and comes out of the top ten. The first real jump is of the Russian tennis player Aslan Karatsev: the new winner of Sydney earns five positions and thus enters the Top 15, overtaking Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer.

Evans and Cilic also did well while the other blue player Lorenzo Sonego gained a position. Best Ranking without playing for Carlos Alcaraz who earns two positions and approaches the top seeds. Nice jump also for Fabio Fognini who gains four positions, Humbert and De Minaur collapse instead and lose nine and eight positions respectively, badly even Korda.

Italian chapter: we talked about the Big, behind Musetti stable, Gianluca Mager loses two positions instead. Rinderknech also made a great leap in the Top 100, gaining ten positions. Well Cecchinato while Stefano Travaglia loses twelve positions, one step away from the Top 100 exit.

Great jump by Thanasi Kokkinakis who gains 42 positions and reaches 103 place in the ATP ranking.

Nadal defeated Marcos Giron

Lindsay Davenport feels that playing best-of-five matches on the fast hardcourt surfaces in Melbourne could be taxing for the Spaniard's body.

However, she claimed that she wants him to win Slam No. 21 in Melbourne as it would stand him in good stead for the rest of the season. "It's great to see Rafael Nadal back out there healthy but three out of five sets on a hardcourt, on his body, I just don't know.

I mean I wanna see him get to 21. I think so much good could come out of it if Rafa has a great tournament and potentially wins here but lets see physically how he holds up," Lindsay Davenport said. "We got to remember, there was a chance that Rafa wasn't even gonna come.

Not only the foot, (but he also) tested positive for COVID in late December. So everyone was thrilled when he got off the plane and showed the picture of himself on Rod Laver Arena," she added. "But I think it's probably a big ask at this tournament, the courts are playing very fast. He's played seven tournaments, each of the last two years."

Rafael Nadal Yannick Hanfmann