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Suffered victory for Rafa Nadal at the Australian Open, who mourns the unexpected loss of Nick Kyrgios


The Spaniard, who is defending the title he won last year, needed four sets to eliminate Britain's Jack Draper.

Back on the court where he became the man with the most Grand Slams in history, Spanish

Rafael Nadal

began his Australian Open title defense on Monday with a hard-fought victory, which lost to local idol

Nick Kyrgios

, who got off from the tournament due to injury.

On the opening day of the first Grand Slam of the year, Nadal managed to neutralize the talented British

Jack Draper

(7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1) in four sets and

reverse his losing streak of six defeats in recent seven games


"I needed the victory, that's the main thing. It doesn't matter the way. The most important thing is the victory against a tough rival (...) one of the toughest in the first round being seeded,"

he later reflected at a press conference .

With a powerful first serve and the ability to respond to Nadal's long rallies, the 21-year-old Briton demonstrated at Rod Laver Arena the reasons that led him to climb 200 places in the ATP rankings in one year to number 38.

The first set did not get unbalanced until the last game, in which Rafa displayed his left and took advantage of two drop shots to break serve and win the first set.

The happiness of Rafael Nadal.

Source: AP

But in the restart, Draper was not intimidated and endorsed a double break to the Spaniard.

"Those are the games that change the game (...) I need to continue improving that

," Nadal admitted at a press conference.

The balance and the exchange of blows was maintained until the middle of the third chapter, when Draper noticed discomfort in his right thigh, which reduced his performance and forced him to seek medical assistance.

With a limping opponent, who in the end could barely run and showed obvious gestures of pain, Nadal closed the pass to the second round where he will face the American

Mackenzie McDonald

, who needed just over four hours and five sets to take his rival out of competition. compatriot

Brandon Nakashima

7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 1-6, 6-7 (10) and 6-4.

Novak Djokovic


to Australia after his

media deportation in 2022

for not being vaccinated against covid-19, Nadal is not only playing for the title, but the record of 22 Grand Slams, which the Serb can match if he wins for the tenth time in Melbourne.

In the women's draw, the current number 1 in the world, the Polish

Iga Swiatek

, starts as a favorite to win the title vacated by the Australian Ashleigh Barty, now retired.

On her way to her fourth Grand Slam after two Roland Garros and a US Open,

Swiatek will face the German Jule Niemeier on Monday

, who made her suffer in the round of 16 of the last major in New York.

None of his main rivals failed.

Jessica Pegula started on the right foot.

Photo: REUTERS/Carl Recine

The Americans

Jessica Pegula

(3rd) and

Coco Gauff

(7th) resolved their respective confrontations with authority against the Romanian Jaqueline Cristian (6-0 and 6-1) and the Czech Katerina Siniakova (6-1 and 6-4).

The Greek

María Sakkari

(6th) beat the Chinese

Yuan Yue

6-1 and 6-4 without excessive complications and Swiatek's executioner in the 2022 semifinals, the American

Danielle Collins

, suffered but beat the Russian Ana Kalinskaya by 7 -5, 5-7 and 6-4.

In a duel between the only two Open champions in contention, the Belarusian

Victoria Azarenka

beat the American Sofia Kenin 6-4, 7-6 (3).

And she will be the rival of Nadia Podoroska, who entered the main draw with a protected draw and easily beat the French Léolia Jeanjean 6-0, 6-3.

In the men's draw, the main surprise came from outside the courts, with the announcement of the withdrawal of the talented Kyrgios who, after years of controversy and irregular performance, seemed ready to aspire to a Grand Slam.

The anger of Nick Kyrgios after announcing his departure from Australia.

Photo: AFP

"I'm devastated

," said Kyrgios, reigning doubles champion in Australia and finalist at the last Wimbledon, who is suffering from an injury to his left knee, where he has a small tear in one of his menisci.

Waiting for the Russian

Daniil Medvedev (finalist in 2022 and 2021), the top seeds such as the Greek

Stefanos Tsitsipas

, the American

Frances Tiafoe

and the Polish

Hubert Hurkacz

advanced round


In the first tournament with

Roger Federer

officially retired and with Nadal and Djokovic already closer to 40 than 30, a new generation of tennis players led by the absent world number 1, the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz,

aspire to put an end to the era of the "Big Three".

Of them, the Italian

Jannik Sinner quickly

secured his place in the second round, with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 defeat of the British

Kyle Edmund


Jannik Sinner looks to land the first big hit.

Photo: AFP

In the second round he will face Argentine

Tomás Martín Etcheverry

who, after four failed attempts last year, won his first Grand Slam match.

The same was achieved by his compatriot

Francisco Cerúndolo

, 28th seed, who eliminated Guido Pella, also an Argentine.

Biggest was the milestone for 17-year-old Chinese teenager

Shang Juncheng

, who became the first man from his country to win at this tournament.

Source: AFP 

look also

Australian Open: Francisco Cerúndolo won the Argentine duel against Guido Pella and obtained his first victory in a Grand Slam

ATP Ranking: Alcaraz continues as No. 1 in the world, but everything can change (and a lot) after the Australian Open

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-16

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