Will Rafael Nadal compete at Australian Open? He answers
Spanish maestro Rafael Nadal returned to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. The 35-year-old suffered two defeats to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov respectively. It was Nadal's first outing since competing at the Citi Open in August. As per a report in Reuters, Nadal can't guarantee whether he will play the Australian Open. He last won a major title in 2020.
Why does it matter?
- Nadal was in the entry list of the 2022 Australian Open.
- However, considering his recent matches, one can say that Nadal is nowhere near his best.
- He last played in Washington, having suffered a defeat to Lloyd Harris.
- He skipped Wimbledon after losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals.
- Nadal also missed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the US Open thereafter.
'I can't guarantee it', says Nadal on his availability
"The idea is to go there and try my best there in Australia. Being 100% honest, I can't guarantee it," Nadal said. "I need to speak with my team. It's more than six months since the last real official match. Things are difficult and I accept that. I was able to compete in both matches and even had my chances."
Nadal ended the 2021 season after sustaining a foot injury
Nadal had sustained a foot injury at the French Open. He opted out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in order to rest following the clay-court season. Nadal said he has taken the tough decision considering the "demanding clay-court season".
Nadal has won the Australian Open once
Nadal won his only Australian Open title in 2009. He defeated Swiss ace Roger Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-2 in an epic finale battle. The former became the first Spanish player to win the Australian Open. It was also the first hard-court Grand Slam where Nadal reached the final. Notably, Nadal won his first five matches without dropping a set.
Nadal is 69-15 at the Australian Open
Nadal has a win-loss record of 69-15 at the Australian Open (win percentage of 82). He has won the title only once in 16 attempts. The Spaniard has finished as the runner-up as many as four times (2012, 2014, 2017, and 2019). In 2021, he reached the quarter-finals. Stefanos Tsitsipas stunned Nadal 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 after over four hours.