Rafael Nadal: 'That changed my preparation last year a lot'

Rafael Nadal will begin his 2023 Australian Open 'campaign' on Monday at the Rod Laver Arena

by Simone Brugnoli
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Rafael Nadal: 'That changed my preparation last year a lot'

Rafael Nadal will begin his 2023 Australian Open 'campaign' on Monday at the Rod Laver Arena. The Spanish phenomenon will face the formidable Jack Draper, who has grown a lot in the last year and will be able to take the field without much pressure.

The former world number 1 is certainly not having the best moment of his career, having lost six of his last seven matches on the circuit. The 22-time Grand Slam champion didn't shine at the United Cup either, having been defeated in comeback by both Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur.

The 36-year-old from Manacor has accustomed fans to memorable feats, like the one last year, when he won the title in Melbourne despite having been off for several months. The Iberian will try to use the first week of the Happy Slam to regain pace and confidence, in order to play all his cards in the second week.

Despite the recent defeats, the Majorcan said he was satisfied with the work done and can't wait to test himself in an official match.

Rafa Nadal is ready

"That changed my preparation last year a lot, without a doubt. A lot of changes at the beginning," Rafael Nadal said in a pre-tournament press conference at the Australian Open.

The 36-year-old said he is now more comfortable with his routine. "But now, no. I am able to do my normal routines, practice as much as I can. I practice probably more than ever, more than the last 10 years the last three weeks," he added.

"The only thing that didn't happen in my side is victories. That's the real thing," Nadal explained. "But for the rest of the things that I am building to be ready for a tournament like this one, I feel quite ready. I would love to arrive here with a couple of victories, yes.

That didn't happen, so need to accept that, need to live with it. The rest of the parts of my game that I have been working with, I am quite happy and I feel ready in terms of try to play a very good tennis on Monday," he added.

Nadal is cautious enough not to rule out the possibility altogether. But he stressed that the "logical perspective" says otherwise. "I can't predict the future. Some of the names that you named, they are super good...If we start talking about achieving 22 Grand Slams, 21, 20, I mean, it's a big deal," Nadal said in a press conference ahead of the 2023 Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal Australian Open Rod Laver
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