Rafael Nadal after a poor run: 'I'm not dissapointed'

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Rafael Nadal after a poor run: 'I'm not dissapointed'

Rafael Nadal will seek his third Australian Open crown and the 23rd Major in the upcoming weeks. Nadal had a great run in the first half of 2022 before experiencing an injury that ruined his form and progress. Rafa withdrew ahead of the Wimbledon semi-final, playing only 11 matches since August.

The Spaniard experienced seven losses, including two at the start of the 2023 season at the United Cup in Sydney. Rafa made a good start against Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur before falling in three sets after spending over two hours and 40 minutes on the court in each.

The Spaniard is satisfied with his preparation ahead of the Australian Open, spending enough time on the court in competitive encounters and practicing nicely. Also, he is not disappointed about two losses, wishing for a better run in Melbourne and his first victories.

Nadal lost to Norrie for the first time, taking the opener but falling 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Briton made a fresh start in the second set and delivered two breaks from 11 chances to control the scoreboard and secure a career-best victory.

The Sydney native Alex De Minaur had massive support against Nadal in front of the home fans. The Aussie bounced back in the second set and delivered a late break in the decider to celebrate a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 triumph. They traded breaks in the middle of the opener, and Nadal stepped in to rattle off four straight games and win it 6-3.

Rafa grabbed an early lead in the second set but could not keep it. Alex stepped in and delivered six consecutive breaks to clinch the set 6-1 and gain a massive boost ahead of the decider.

Rafael Nadal is off to a slow start this year.

Rafa made a better start, serving well and earning break opportunities in game two.

De Minaur denied four and avoided an early setback in one of the pivotal moments. Alex grabbed a break at 15 in game five before Rafa cracked a forehand crosscourt winner in the next one to return to the positive side. The Spaniard held at love in the ninth game for 5-4 and left his opponent serving to stay in the match.

Alex brought the tenth game for 5-5 and more drama. Nadal played a terrible service game when it mattered the most and got broken at love to push the rival 6-5 ahead. De Minaur served for the victory in game 12 and fired a service winner for a hold at love and a career-best win in his hometown.

"It's true; I could not play my best tennis in the last couple of months. I lost two encounters in Sydney, but I'm not disappointed with my preparation. I have to win matches to gain confidence, but the preparation is going well.

I have practiced a lot, and I'm in good shape. I have to demonstrate that in the official matches, and I'm ready after a week of productive practice runs. I'm happy to be back in Melbourne. I had an unforgettable run here last year," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal