Boris Becker: Playing the Melbourne Summer Set was a smart move by Rafael Nadal
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 8982
Former world No. 1 Boris Becker says there is a ralistic chances of seeing Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty lifting titles at Melbourne Park. Nadal, 35, saw off Adrian Mannarino in straight sets to progress into the Australian Open quarterfinal.
On the other side, beat Amanda Anisimova to reach the last-8 in Melbourne. After Novak Djokovic was deported and Alexander Zverev eliminated in the round-of-16, Nadal's chances of winning a 21st Grand Slam increased. "Nadal claiming another Grand Slam title and Barty becoming a long-awaited champion from the host nation, what a finish that would be next weekend — and it might happen," Becker wrote for The Daily Mail.
"Who would have thought a month ago that the Spaniard might emerge from this ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer on 21 Grand Slam titles with the French Open to come?"
Nadal hasn't lost a match this year
Nadal kicked off his 2022 season at the Melbourne Summer Set, where he made it all the way.
Becker described Nadal's decision to play an ATP event as a "smart move." "As for Nadal, he has been hugely impressive in getting to the last eight, considering the setbacks of recent months. "It is a reminder that, above all, he is a great tournament player who knows how to approach a big fortnight and handle the pressures you face over that time span — bringing yourself to the boil at the right time.
Rafa’s decision to play the relatively small 250-level event in Melbourne at the start of January was a typically smart move. "It got him the matches he needed and showed the others he is back in business, then allowed him to practice the week before the big one.
"Of course he could still face a very stiff challenge from Daniil Medvedev, who is due to play on Monday morning in the fourth round against America’s Maxime Cressy."