Rafael Nadal explains why he struggles with conditions in Melbourne


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Rafael Nadal explains why he struggles with conditions in Melbourne

World no. 1 Rafael Nadal is through to the third round of the Australian Open but we are yet to see the best tennis from the 19-time Major winner. The Spaniard has been struggling with conditions at Melbourne Park, unable to find enough spin with heavy and fluffy balls and not getting used to the speed of the court that appears to be slower from what he expected.

Rafa has already spent more than four and a half hours on the court, needing two hours to dismiss Hugo Dellien despite losing only five games, getting broken twice and finishing the encounter with 38 winners and 21 unforced errors.

A left-handed Federico Delbonis proved to be an even tougher opponent in round two, with Rafa prevailing 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 in two hours and 30 minutes. The top seed never faced a break point to mount the pressure on the Argentine who did a marvelous job in saving 17 out of 20 break chances, drawing frustration from the world's leading player who still managed to find the way to seal the deal in straight sets after a strong performance in the decider when he stepped in.

Speaking after the match, Nadal admitted he hasn't liked the conditions so far, aware of the fact he will have to improve his game regularly if he wants to fight for the title. Also, he had to mention that terrible break chances realization, something he will have to improve seriously in the upcoming clashes, especially if he set the fourth-round clash with Nick Kyrgios.

"The balls are very heavy and I think the court is slower, much slower than I expected; the conditions are certainly not perfect for me. I will have to work on improvements day by day and get used to those conditions better.

I had many break points and managed to convert only a couple, that turned into a disaster today. Also, I will have to step in a little bit more, just like I did in the third set against Delbonis."