Aussie tennis nice Wally Masur has warned that Rafael Nadal may doubtlessly face a first-round exit on the Australian Open after a scratchy run into the match.
Nadal has been uncharacteristically off form up to now this summer time, dropping to each Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur on the United Cup whereas representing Spain.
The reigning champion heads into the primary grand slam of the yr because the No.1 seed within the males’s draw, and can face Nice Britain’s Jack Draper first up, a hazard man in accordance with Masur.
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“He’ll have to be on music fairly early as a result of Jake Draper is in kind and he is a clumsy opponent within the first spherical,” Masur mentioned on 9’s protection of the draw.
Masur added that Nadal has tweaked his sport since struggling the stomach harm that cruelled the again half of his 2022 season following wins at Melbourne Park and Roland-Garros.
“It was that abdomen tear at Wimbledon … and he by no means actually recovered, he received one match on the US Open for the again finish of the yr, so it wasn’t the Rafa that we’re used to,” he mentioned.
“He is struggled in the beginning of 2023. We caught a little bit glimpse of him on the United Cup and it is fairly apparent what he is been engaged on within the low season.
“He is making an attempt to be a bit extra offensive, shortening the factors, serve-and-volleying on the internet, so it’s going to be attention-grabbing to see how that works out for him.”
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