Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal admitted he was a bit bothered by his troublesome back during his opener at the Australian Open. Nadal, ranked at No. 2 in the world, handed a straight-set defeat to Serb Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 6-1 to progress into the second round at the Australian Open.
Nadal was scheduled to play for Spain at the ATP Cup but he ended up skipping every tie due to back issues. On Tuesday, Nadal played his first match of the season and recorded a straight-set win. "Today it's not great.
I needed to change a little bit the motion of my serve. That's what I tried to survive that condition today. Tomorrow a day off. After tomorrow, another match. I need to go day-to-day and just try to stay positive," Nadal said after his win over Djere, per Ravi Ubha.
Nadal insists he is not a routine guy
After the match, record 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal was asked about changes to his tennis routines during the pandemic. "No, people think that I am a very routine guy because I do all these routines on court.
But outside of the court I am completely the opposite. No, I am not a very organized guy," Nadal claimed. Prior to the Australian Open, former world No. 1 Nadal practiced with rising Italian star Jannik Sinner. After losing to Denis Shapovalov in the Australian Open first round, Sinner said practicing with Nadal was something special.
"We enjoyed practicing together, and I think we did a good work. Honestly, he's a great guy. He's a guy with -- he's humble. He's relaxed. He's a good worker. The same thing that I talk about Alcaraz a few questions ago," Nadal said of Sinner. Nadal, who captured his lone Australian Open title in 2009, plays next against a American Michael Mmoh.