'That's why it takes a lot to train with Rafael Nadal', says young star

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'That's why it takes a lot to train with Rafael Nadal', says young star

Melbourne is still a long way off, but it is already counting down to the Australian Open, and the first slam of the new year hopes to have Roger Federer struggling to recover from injury. "We look forward to welcoming the best players in the world to Melbourne and what promises to be a spectacular Australian Open after a year of disruption on a scale none of us have experienced before," said the director of the Australian Open Craig Tiley tournament.

The tournament starts on February 8th, and ends on February 21st. "The Australian Open will have a slightly different aspect: everyone's safety is our top priority. We have the opportunity to organize a very safe but also joyful Grand Slam, and give players the experience of competing in front of the crowd again, something they have been missing out on for most of this year.

" Serena Williams is aiming for her eighth Australian title, while world number 1 Novak Djokovic has an even more ambitious goal: record success number 9. "Roger Federer will be back from injury", announces Tiley.

Italian player Lorenzo Sonego recently spent a week training with Rafael Nadal in Spain. The 25-year-old Italian was left very impressed with the arrangements at the Mallorca facility.

Sonego on training with Rafael Nadal

"More than asking (him) for advice, you just need to look at Rafael Nadal a little," Lorenzo Sonego said.

"It is enough to see his attitude, understand what he trains and what he works on, to learn something. Watching what he does on the court is more important than talking to him." Sonego hit the headlines earlier this year by defeating World No.

1 Novak Djokovic in the Vienna quarterfinals. He claimed that Rafael Nadal practices at a very high speed, which took him some time to get used to. "It was the first time," the Italian said. "Rafael Nadal has an impressive pace.

(You have to) get used to playing at a much higher pace. That's why it takes a lot to train with him. I was struck by the tranquility that is in this place," the 25-year-old said. "There is a lot of serenity, you can only hear balls travelling from one side to the other.

They are really well organized, very kind. They also made available to us guys as sparring partners, all very strong. The weather was good, so we always played outdoors. We were also guests of the hotel, which is very nice and where the food is fine. We found great hospitality, the Spaniards made us feel at home. We really enjoyed it."