Rafael Nadal: 'I am not unhappy with...'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 12620
In addition to achieving every accolade imaginable, Rafael Nadal has shown a longevity that very few would have imagined. Suffice it to say that the Spaniard won two Slams in 2022, the Australian Open and Roland Garros, extending his lead over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the historical Slam rankings.
The former world number 1 found more difficulties in the second half of last season, also due to the usual physical problems. Not even 2023 started in the best way for the Spaniard, defeated by Cameron Norrie and Alex De Miñaur in the inaugural edition of the United Cup.
The 22-time Slam champion said he feels confident, but it's certainly not the best way to show up at the Australian Open (where he'll have to defend his title). Rafa will have many points left until the summer, since he also won in Acapulco and Roland Garros in 2022 (not forgetting the final that he reached in Indian Wells).
Facing Nadal on clay in Paris is considered the most difficult challenge in the world of tennis. In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Maximilian Marterer recalled his match against 'The King of Clay' staged at Roland Garros 2018.
"The match against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros 2018 was without a doubt the most important match of my career" - began Marterer with great sincerity. "I remember that day he was very nervous. To have a chance against Rafa in Paris, you have to play at a stellar level for five straight sets.
We are talking about a tennis player who has won 14 Roland Garros, so there are not many players who have managed to beat him. Even though I lost, it was one of the most exciting days of my entire life. I think I played a very good match, so much so that I managed to reach a tiebreak in the third set", commented the German.
The feeling is that Rafa will do everything possible to launch one last shot in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. The 36-year-old left-hander lost his first two matches of the season in the United Cup but said he is physically fit, a 22-time Grand Slam champion who will start as the top seed at the Australian Open, where he has already been.
training to refine details.
Nadal will be the top seed at the Australian Open
Rafael Nadal believes that he is in good shape going into the 2023 Australian Open. “It’s true that the last couple of tournaments I wasn’t able to play to my standards and here at the beginning of the season I lost two matches in Sydney, but honestly, I am not unhappy with the preparation,” Nadal said.
"I think I’m in good shape. You need to demonstrate that in matches … but I’m confident that if I am able to have this last week of positive practice, why not?” he added.