Rafael Nadal had very bad luck in the draw for the 2023 Australian Open. The current champion of the first Grand Slam of the season will soon have to leave the bad feelings with which he arrives at the event, and will have to improve for a debut that will be presents extremely complicated.
Nadal accumulates two defeats at the start of the season against the British Cameron Norrie and the Australian Alex de Minaur, and now he will have to face another Briton in the figure of Jack Draper. Draper is through to the Adelaide 2 ATP 250 semi-finals, with three wins on the week without dropping a set.
This will be the first time they have met Nadal. In case of victory, the winner of the clash between the Americans Brandon Nakashima and Mackenzie McDonald will be measured. Beyond that they can scare him, his first favorite would reach the third round and it could be the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka.
They beat the Japanese the only time they faced them, although it was in 2017. For the round of 16, the degree of complexity increases since they could see their executioner in the last Grand Slam, the American Frances Tiafoe .
It was already known in the preview of the draw that the favorites could face the Russian Daniil Medvedev or the Italian Matteo Berrettini only in the quarterfinals, and that could happen to Rafa in the case of Medvedev.
Very soon the final of last year could be repeated. The Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) and the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime (6) could be his opponents in the semifinals, while the Serbian Novak Djokovic and the Norwegian Casper Ruud (2) could only face him until a hypothetical final.
Henin reflects on Rafa Nadal
As always at the Eurosport microphone, Justine Henin placed Rafael Nadal among the contenders for the title at the Australian Open despite his current state of form because the man with 22 Grand Slam titles has shown throughout his career and still more these years that could surprise all observers.
“Today everyone has a lot of questions about Rafael Nadal, who continues to find resources year after year. Rafa said that he was not in a rebuilding phase and it should not be exaggerated either, but he had a difficult end of the season when he became a father.
Last year we were surprised. Will he be able to do it again when we know that it is the Grand Slam that has always been the most difficult for him? He did it last year.»