Rafael Nadal battles past Draper in four sets to advance to second round of Australian Open


Rafael Nadal battles past Draper in four sets to advance to second round of Australian Open

Rafael Nadal, the defending champion at the Australian Open, defeated British player Jack Draper in four sets to advance to the second round of the tournament. 

Nadal, the top seed from Spain, used his powerful forehand shots but also made 46 unforced errors during the match. 

Despite the errors, Nadal was able to wear down Draper with a final score of 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the hot weather on the Rod Laver Arena. 

This win marks Nadal's 17th time advancing to the second round of the Australian Open and increases his overall record at Melbourne Park to 77-15.

Rafael Nadal, the defending champion and top seed from Spain, fought a hard battle against British player Jack Draper to advance to the second round of the Australian Open. 

The match was a tough one for Nadal, who had lost six of his previous seven matches and had to deal with a strange incident in which he complained that one of his racquets had gone missing. 

Despite this, Nadal kept his composure and was able to win the first set by converting a set point with a strong cross-court winner. 

However, in the second set, Draper was able to gain the upper hand and win the set. 

Nadal was able to recover in the third set by breaking early and winning the long rallies, but Draper came back to make it close. 

In the fourth set, Draper was visibly in pain, and Nadal took advantage of the situation to win the match. 

Nadal will next play Mackenzie Mcdonald in the second round, who defeated fellow American Brandon Nakashima in a five-set thriller. 

Nadal will be looking to win his 23rd Grand Slam title, which would be a record.

Nadal expressed his excitement to be back at the Australian Open, saying "Super happy to be back here in Australia one more time. 

It's like the 19th season in the professional tour so very excited about this new beginning.

" He also acknowledged the difficulty of his first round match against Draper, saying "It's a victory I needed. 

I played against one of the toughest opponents possible in the first round. 

He's young, he has the power and I think he has a great future in front of him."

Nadal also noted the absence of nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, who is returning to the tournament this year and will begin his campaign on Tuesday. 

Last year, Nadal made history on the same court by winning his 21st Grand Slam title, which broke the record for most Grand Slam men's singles titles. 

He added a 22nd title at Roland Garros, and Djokovic won Wimbledon to also reach 21 titles. 

With the competition heating up, Nadal will have to bring his A-game to defend his title and continue his pursuit of a historic 23rd Grand Slam win.

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