Rafael Nadal comments on beating Jack Draper for winning Australian Open start

Nadal defeated Draper in four sets to progress into the Australian Open second round.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rafael Nadal comments on beating Jack Draper for winning Australian Open start

Rafael Nadal tipped Jack Draper to have a bright future and admitted it was very positive for him to kick off his Australian Open with such a strong win. Nadal, the defending Australian Open champion, defeated last week's Adelaide semifinalist Draper 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-1 to progress into the second round at Melbourne Park.

After losing back-to-back matches at the United Cup, Nadal clinched his first win of the season in his Australian Open opener. “If we put [today’s match] in the perspective of all that I went through in the past six months, [it was] a very positive start.

I played against one of the toughest opponents possible in the first round, being seeded. He is young, he has the power and I think he has a great future in front [of him]. We are going to see him playing a lot of years here, having very good results," Nadal said after winning his opening match at Melbourne Park, per the ATP website.

How Nadal defeated Draper

The first break of the match was seen in the 12th game, when Nadal broke Draper in the key moments of the first set to win a tight opener. After losing the first set in a devastating way, Draper bounced back by earning back-to-back breaks at the start of the second set for a 4-0 lead.

Up by two breaks, Draper routinely held on to his serve the rest of the set to tie the match to one set apiece. In the fourth game of the third set, Nadal earned the first break of the set for a 3-1 lead. However, Draper refused to quit, breaking back Nadal in the seventh game to cut the deficit to 4-3.

Blowing an early third-set break didn't impact Nadal, who broke Draper again in the 10th game - when the Briton was serving to stay in the third set. After losing the third set, Draper broke Nadal in the first game of the fourth set.

Draper then suffered a stunning collapse as Nadal claimed three breaks in a row and won six consecutive games to complete a four-set win over the Briton. In his next match, Nadal plays Mackenzie McDonald.

Rafael Nadal Jack Draper Australian Open