MELBOURNE, Australia – Rafael Nadal says he is thinking about his next opponent … and his next training … and is trying to replicate the great tennis he played in the first round of the Australian Open in his direct win.
What he doesn’t have in mind is number 20 – like in Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles, which Nadal would equate with winning the Melbourne Park title.
“I am not interested in 20, 15 or 16. I am only interested in continuing and enjoying my tennis career. It is not that 20 is the number that I have to reach. When I turn 20 it is fantastic “Nadal said on Tuesday, raising his hands in the air.” When I’m 21, it’s better. If I (stay) 19? Super happy with all the things I’ve done in my tennis career, no? “
He must have been satisfied with 6: 2, 6: 3 and 6: 0 against Hugo Dellien.
This was achieved with a 38-15 lead in winners and breaks in eight of Dellien’s eleven service games.
Nadal, the oldest number 1 in ATP history at 33, has 19 major championships, but only one came to Australia 11 years ago.
Of course, twelve were collected at the French Open, four at the U.S. Open and two at Wimbledon.
“I won the US Open a few months ago and was super happy at that moment. But today I’m happier than if I hadn’t won the US Open? Probably not, ”said Nadal with a hearty laugh. “The only thing I can do is make every effort to continue on the best possible path. The rest of the things will see the future. “
ANISIMOVAS RETURN SLAM
The fast-growing American teenager Amanda Anisimova has played her first grand slam match since her father, who also coached her, passed away last year.
His sudden death occurred just before the US Open, which is why she withdrew from that tournament.
Anisimova reached the semi-finals of the French Open in 2019 at the age of 17 and was the first player born in the 2000s to get that far in a major. At the time it was in 51st place and not sown.
The 18-year-old was placed 21st at Melbourne Park, but was beaten by Zarina Diyas from Kazakhstan 6: 3, 4: 6, 6: 3.
CAREER COMEBACK SLAM
Credit Fabio Fognini with a career Grand Slam from Comebacks: His 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) rain interrupted victory over two days against Reilly Opelka of the USA gave that twelfth seeded Italians a total of eight wins in games after dropping the first two sets.
And now that he’s made it to the Australian Open, Fognini has a full collection with at least one such reversal in each of the four major tournaments. According to the International Tennis Federation, only 11 other men made it to each slam, including Roger Federer, Rod Laver and Boris Becker, but not Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
The most famous example of Fognini’s 0-2 comeback was Nadal at the 2015 US Open. Fognini said he did not remember all of the turnaround wins, but he certainly remembered them.
This also applies to Opelka, who regretted that the game against Fognini was interrupted due to rain on Monday after the first game of the third set.
Opelka said Nadal’s match wasn’t really in his mind, but “if anything, it was just that I was preparing myself (Fognini) to win and believe in myself that he could win.” Obviously he did it. “
GULBIS ESTABLISHES FAA
Felix Auger-Aliassime is considered the future star of men’s tennis, a 19-year-old Canadian who was placed 20th at the Australian Open – and was eliminated after a defeat in the first round against the young Ernests Gulbis -and-comer self.
Already when he was 20 years old, Gulbis reached the French Open semi-finals and reached a place in the top 10 of the ATP ranking. A number of injuries shaped his career, including a back problem in 2019; He only got on place 256 on Tuesday and had to go through qualifying to take part in the main draw.
Made the best of it, defeated Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
“We saw the good gulbis today,” said Auger-Aliassime.
The 31-year-old Gulbis from Latvia described himself as “emotional when I went back to the dressing room because it’s not easy.” It is not easy to come back. Playing challengers is not easy. But these moments are really worth it. “
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