Nadal gathers strength as injuries strike rivals

Photo from Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) Twitter account
MELBOURNE – For a player who was all doom and gloom about his fitness on the eve of the Australian Open, Rafa Nadal emerged as an unlikely pillar of strength on day eight as injuries cut a swathe through the men’s draw on Monday.
Nadal’s bid for a record 21st Grand Slam crown gathered pace with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 demolition of Fabio Fognini that pushed the Spaniard into his 13th quarterfinal at Melbourne Park.

Sealed with an ace 💥@RafaelNadal advances to the #AusOpen quarterfinals for the 1️⃣3️⃣th time.#AO2021 pic.twitter.com/JoH9B67n8S
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 15, 2021

The lower back strain that forced Nadal to miss the ATP Cup is now disappearing in the rear-view mirror and he heads into his next clash against fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas without having dropped a set.
“The first set without a doubt has been my best level in the tournament,” Nadal told reporters after routing 16th seed Fognini on a sun-bathed afternoon at Rod Laver Arena.
“It’s normal, too, because I was able to practice for two days in a row.
“I’m excited about playing that quarterfinals match.
“If we compare how I was five days ago and how I am today’s situation, it’s different, and my perspective and excitement is completely different, too.”
While Nadal booked his 43rd Grand Slam quarterfinal with two hours and 16 minutes of work against Fognini, Tsitsipas did not lift a racket against ninth seed Matteo Berrettini, who pulled out with an abdominal strain.
Norwegian Casper Ruud’s hopes of a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal were also undone by an abdominal injury as he retired two sets in against Russian Andrey Rublev.
Players’ fitness at the Grand Slam has been under the microscope after they spent two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine, with some blaming their exits on limited preparations.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic, who said he had torn an abdominal muscle against Taylor Fritz, has soldiered on and was able to dispatch Milos Raonic on Sunday to book a quarterfinal against Alexander Zverev.
Djokovic was cagey about his injury when probed about it after the Raonic match, saying he did not want to “speculate” and that it was a “gamble” to play on.
Having had his fair share of injuries over the years, Nadal felt there was little point in trying to conceal their true nature.
“Well, it’s difficult to hide things,” he said.
“I think it’s not healthy to hide a lot of things because it’s difficult.
“Even if you want to hide, at some point you’re going to have questions to answer.
“I don’t want to play that game, honestly.”
Although speculation over Djokovic’s fitness will continue to fill the vacuum, Nadal was adamant that no player could grit their teeth and win a Grand Slam if properly injured.

“If you really have physical problems, you will not win,” said the 34-year-old.
“If you have some pain and it’s not putting you in a situation that limits you, the movements, maybe you can find a way.
“But when you really, really have an injury, it’s impossible to win a tournament like this.”

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Nadal faces Fognini test, Russians on course for last-eight clash

FILE – Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during a practice session before the Australian Open REUTERS/Loren Elliott
Rafael Nadal headlines Monday’s fourth-round action at the Australian Open, where victory against 16th seed Fabio Fognini will move him just three wins away from a record 21st Grand Slam crown.
Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev can set up an all-Russian quarterfinal showdown, while in the women’s draw Ashleigh Barty continues her bid to be the first Australian winner in 43 years.
Nadal is also aiming to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win each of the four major championships on multiple occasions by lifting the Norman Brookes Memorial Trophy on Sunday for a second time.
Nadal did not drop a set to reach the second week and reported on Saturday that the stiffness in his sore back had eased for the first time in more than a fortnight.
“Today is better, first day I felt an improvement, and that’s the most important thing for me today, more than any other thing,” Nadal said, after his win against Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
Spain’s Nadal has a 12-4 win-loss record against the 33-year-old Italian Fognini, who is bidding to reach a Slam quarter-final for just the second time in his long career after Roland Garros in 2011.
Rublev, the seventh seed, completed a flawless first week without dropping a set when he powered past Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 with 33 winners on Saturday.
He will attempt to reach his maiden Australian Open quarter-final against 24th seed Casper Ruud.
“We played a couple of times and it was always a great match, with great intensity,” said Rublev of Ruud.
The 22-year-old Norwegian reached the last 16 at a Slam for the first time with a four-set victory against Radu Albot.
Like father, like son
He follows his father in becoming only the second player from Norway to reach this stage at a Grand Slam. Dad Christian Ruud achieved the same feat at the 1997 Australian Open.
Fourth seed Medvedev had to survive a five-setter to earn his 17th consecutive win against Filip Krajinovic and reach the fourth round for the third year in a row.
Medvedev, who won the Paris Masters and the ATP Tour Finals in London to round out a great 2020 campaign and then went unbeaten as Russia won the ATP Cup plays Mackenzie McDonald.
The Russian has beaten the American world number 192 in both of their previous meetings.
Barty is a model of consistency, having reached at least the fourth round at every Slam she has played since first making the second week of a major at the 2018 US Open.
The world number one will look to advance to the quarter-finals at the expense of unseeded American Shelby Rogers when they open the evening session on Rod Laver Arena.
If she wins she will face either Elise Mertens of Belgium or Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, who will feature in a night match on the neighbouring Margaret Court Arena.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, the fifth seed from Greece, will round out the action in a late-night match on Rod Laver against Italian ninth seed Matteo Berrettini.
The other women’s matches see fifth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine first up on Rod Laver against unseeded American Jessica Pegula, followed by Croatia’s Donna Vekic against Jennifer Brady of the US.
For the third day running there will be no fans allowed because of a snap state-wide lockdown caused by a coronavirus cluster at hotel near Melbourne airport.

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It’s been a wacky Australian Open, even if no one’s around to see it


Aslan Karatsev (l.) pulled out a comeback Sunday after finding himself down two sets against Felix Auger-Aliassime (r.).Photo: Getty ImagesAs we’ve previously stated, the Australian Open has a surreal quality, at least on these shores, where an already-niche sport takes place in the dark for only the truly dedicated/bewildered. It’s even more so this edition, as on Friday the live spectators were shooed out of the tournament altogether, thanks to the state of Victoria’s latest COVID lockdown (and it merely took a handful of cases on the outskirts of town for the government to put those in. Imagine having that kind of leadership, responsibility, and care for your neighbor. Maybe when you already live in Australia, amongst all the things that can kill you instantly, you’re more aware of avoiding the extraneous dangers). Anyway, that led to the bizarre sight of the Taylor Fritz-Novak Djokovic match having to be held up for 10 minutes while the crowd left, right at the time the stadium would normally be filling up to watch a possible massive upset. It was a cavernous echo that responded to Djokovic’s roar as he pulled out the 5th set against Fritz, instead of a rapturous roar (or begrudging acceptance and a guarded appreciation rather than a soaking-in of Djokovic’s greatness, as it tends to be with him and crowds). But neither Djokovic nearly eating it early, nor home hero Nick Kyrgrios spitting away a two-set lead to Dominic Thiem on the same night is the biggest story on the men’s side of the draw (and that victory left Thiem a fine paste, as he was bulldozed by Gregor Dimitrov in his next match in straight sets last night). Aslan Karatsev had never played in a Grand Slam before this one. He’s 27, which is generally when a player has established his career arc, for better or for worse. He’s ranked 114th in the world, though that’s a result mostly of tearing it up on the Challenger Tour last year, the tier below the ATP. He was ranked 300 before that. And now he has bulldozed his way to the quarterfinals where he’ll meet Dimitrov. Karatsev hadn’t dropped a set in his first three matches, and had only lost 20 games in his three wins. He rolled into the fourth-round having completely clubbed Diego Schwartzman, (ranked 8th) in straight sets in the third. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about watching Karatsev pull off an actual, tennis-version of Hoosiers, is that he plays like someone who has nothing to lose. Because he doesn’t. It’s the way you’ve always wanted to walk into a Vegas casino with a bankroll, until you remember your mortgage or kids’ college fund or how friendly your spouse seems to be with the neighbor. A complete, “Fuck it, it’s free cake” attitude toward life. Karatsev has been simply bombing it from the baseline, going for every shot that’s there and some that aren’t. It’s what American hope Frances Tiafoe has been attempting for years, but without the restrictor plates that would keep him within limits long enough to make serious noise. Karatsev thunders forehands and backhands to within inches of the baseline, because if you have his story, and you don’t know how much longer this will last, you’re not going to waste time with “feeling your way into a match” or “strategy” or “ logic.” It’s like taco night at college for Karatsev. We’ll worry about the gastrointestinal issues when we get to them. Schwartzman’s game is based on being a backboard, and he was basically reduced to a spectator to Karatsev’s laser show. G/O Media may get a commissionKaratsev’s latest rolling of sevens came against Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian who has promised so much for a couple seasons now and yet hasn’t quite broken down all the firewalls on his game that would unlock so much. Karatsev was down two sets, and it appeared his pressing his engine to 7000 RPM for the length of the tournament had overcooked it. He piled up 26 unforced errors in the first two sets to just seven winners, while Auger-Aliassime played very cleanly and simply and let Karatsev’s lines blow. But Karatsev found the rhythm over the next three sets, piling up 30 winners in the final three sets, including 22 in the final two, as F.A.A.’s game broke down. Karatsev is the first qualifier to get to the quarters in Melbourne in 32 years. He’s the first qualifier to get to any Slam in 10. He’s the first player to make the quarters of his first Slam in 25 years. It’s a complete joyride, and long may it continue. Elsewhere, Daniil Medvedev continued his tortured genius approach to life with a five-set win on Friday that saw him berate his own coach for so long and so often, and in three different languages just for variety’s sake, the dude just got up and left before Medvedev pulled himself out of his ennui to blitz Filip Krajinovic in the 5th set 6-0, which saved Medvedev from blowing his own two-set lead. The constant harassing of a coach not doing much more than sitting there in an empty arena makes for even more awkward viewing, but Medvedev’s rise to the top of the game has been a constant exhibition of absurdism, both in his game — he can vary wildly in style, tactics, and performance and that’s from game to game — and personality. It’s been refreshing to have this kind of story now, because it still looks like the chalk is going to be left at the end. Djokovic complained of a foot injury against Fritz, and even wondered if he could make his next match, which he did and saw off without much fuss, sending Milos Raonic home in four sets. Rafael Nadal hasn’t dropped a set yet, and now won’t have to worry about strange women expressing their views in clear fashion toward him with no crowds being allowed. .

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Nadal wins in straights set to keep Grand Slam dream alive

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third round match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Loren Elliott
World number two Rafael Nadal accelerated his pursuit of a record 21st Grand Slam title Saturday with a testing victory over Cameron Norrie in an Australian Open battle of the left-handers.
The Spanish second seed has altered his service motion due to lower-back tightness, but it didn’t stop him emphatically demolishing his first two opponents in straight sets.
Britain’s 69th-ranked Norrie proved a tougher assignment, with Nadal pressed much harder before emerging a 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 winner in an empty Rod Laver Arena as Melbourne went into a five-day coronavirus lockdown.
It put him into a Slam last 16 for the 49th time, behind only Roger Federer (67) and Novak Djokovic (53).
“All the matches are tough… I didn’t convert the opportunities I had at the beginning of every set, so then the situation becomes a little bit more difficult,” he said.
“And then of course you are playing against the best players in the world, so it’s normal that you might suffer a bit. But happy now, good feelings. Of course I need to keep improving.”
Nadal, who next faces fiery Italian Fabio Fognini, who beat Australian Alex de Minaur in straight sets, is bidding to win his 21st major title and claim sole ownership of the men’s record, which he currently shares with Federer.
His victory keeps him on course to meet Djokovic in the final, although the defending champion is under an injury cloud after suffering what he called an abdominal “muscle tear” in his third-round clash on Friday.
It remains unclear whether the top-seeded Serb will be able to play his fourth-round match against Milos Raonic on Sunday.
The odds were heavily stacked in Nadal’s favor against Norrie, who has never lost an Australian Open match to a player ranked as low as the Briton at 69.
He also holds a stellar record against fellow lefties, winning 103 of 117, with the last loss coming against Denis Shapovalov in Montreal in 2017.
Nadal signaled his intent by opening with a serve to love, but Norrie proved a tough nut to crack, going blow-for-blow in a baseline battle and breaking the second seed.
But Nadal quickly refocused to fight back and take the set 7-5 when Norrie sent a forehand long.
The Spaniard created plenty of break point opportunities and finally converted an overhead to go break for 4-2 in the second set.
Another break sealed the set as Norrie, who was aiming to reach a Grand Slam last 16 for the first time, wilted under Nadal’s relentless firepower.
Little separated them in the third set until Nadal made his move in the 11th game, forcing a match point with a screaming forehand and booking the win when Norrie send a backhand wide.

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Inebriated fan flips bird and curses out Rafa Nadal because Australia gets to have nice things like that


A fan was kicked out of the Australian Open for taunting Rafa Nadal. Remember taunting fans?Image: Getty ImagesI’ve missed sports fans.This morning, a spectator was ejected from the Australian Open after cursing out Rafael Nadal and giving him the ol’ bird.The fan starts by calling Rafa some sort of inaudible insult ending in “fuck.” Then, moves on to yelling “wanker” before getting escorted out by security. You can watch the hilarious episode and the very proper Australian play-by-play below.As one commentator describes, this fan “made a complete goose of themselves.” Oh, those Aussies!As she leaves her seat with her facemask around her chin, she gives one final “fuck you” to the world’s No. 2… which was immediately met with a chorus of boos. I don’t think you’ll see anything funnier all day.G/O Media may get a commissionBy the end of the clip, Rafa was laughing at the gestures and comments. Clearly, he was unfazed by the event. He’d go on to win the second-round match against American Michael Mmoh, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.If you’re like me wondering how Australia could host fans in a pandemic, take a look at their COVID numbers. The entire country averaged six cases over the past week. Six cases — that’s not a typo. The land down under is controlling the spread of COVID and, in turn, they get to have nice things. But as you saw from the clip, attendance is still limited and masks are worn inside the arena.Back here in the U.S., we’re beginning to see more fans attend sporting events, and they’re getting back in the heckling game. How will we ever forget “courtside Karen” and LeBron James calling her 100-year-old husband an “old steroid ass.”The gates of American fan hell could swing open even further after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proclamation that the state’s pro stadiums, and arenas over 10,000-seats, will reopen at 10-percent capacity on Feb. 23. New York fans have been waiting a year to scream at their teams live and in-person. And the guy who wrote a book on “Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” during the pandemic, will let that happen sooner rather than later.Someday, when it’s actually appropriate to allow thousands of spectators into an arena, we’ll all be able to curse out our least favorite athletes in person. May we recall the classic The New Yorker article “At The Wide-Open Open” by Martin Amis on the 1993 U.S. Open, and Andrei Medvedev reveling in the antics of Gotham’s denizens:Q: How much did the debris bother you that was falling on the court?A: Who?Q: The debris, the garbage.A: It was fun … The people are just crazy. It is nice. They are crazy. They are nice … Since you don’t get shot, it is loads of fun, seriously.Won’t that, indeed, be fun? .

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ราฟาเอลนาดาลกลับมามีรูปร่างใน Australian Open

เทนนิส – ออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่น – เมลเบิร์นพาร์คเมลเบิร์นออสเตรเลีย 9 กุมภาพันธ์ 2564 ราฟาเอลนาดาลจากสเปนในการแข่งขันรอบแรกกับลาสโลดีเจเร REUTERS / ลอเรนเอลเลียตจากเซอร์เบียเมลเบิร์น – ราฟาเอลนาดาลท้าทายการคาดการณ์การบาดเจ็บที่ลาสโลจิเรด้วย 6 – 3 บด 6-4 6-1 และเข้าถึงรอบที่สองของออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่นในวันอังคาร ผู้ยิ่งใหญ่ชาวสเปนไม่ค่อยมีส่วนร่วมในการกระทำของเขาใช้กำปั้นที่ดีที่สุด แต่ดูเหมือนจะไม่ได้รับความสนใจจากอาการปวดหลังของเขาในขณะที่เขาได้รับชัยชนะเหนือเซิร์บอันดับที่ 56 ในช่วงบ่ายที่ Rod Laver Arena 🚨 RAFA TIME 🚨การค้นหาเมเจอร์ที่ 21 ของเขาเริ่มต้นขึ้นแล้วกับ Laslo Djere 🔥 @RafaelNadal | #AusOpen | # AO2021 pic.twitter.com/V3cwsvCB7Q – #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 9 กุมภาพันธ์ 2021 หลังจากจบเซตที่สองอย่างเหนียวแน่นเมล็ดพันธุ์ที่สองเล่นเหมือนคนไร้กังวลแข่งกันเข้าเส้นชัยท่ามกลางผู้ชนะก่อนที่ Djere จะเข้าร่วมการแข่งขัน อย่างอ่อนน้อมกับความผิดสองครั้ง นาดาลพบกับผู้ชนะในรอบคัดเลือกสองคน – American Michael Mmoh หรือ Viktor Troicki – เพื่อเข้าชิงในรอบที่สาม อ่านต่ออย่าพลาดข่าวสารและข้อมูลล่าสุด สมัครสมาชิก INQUIRER PLUS เพื่อเข้าถึง The Philippine Daily Inquirer และชื่อเรื่องอื่น ๆ อีกกว่า 70 รายการแชร์แกดเจ็ตได้สูงสุด 5 รายการรับฟังข่าวสารดาวน์โหลดเร็วที่สุด 4 โมงเช้าและแบ่งปันบทความบนโซเชียลมีเดีย โทร 896 6000 ติดต่อเราสำหรับข้อเสนอแนะข้อร้องเรียนหรือคำถาม



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Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open in doubt with back injury

FILE – Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts against Austria’s Dominic Thiem in their men’s singles round-robin match on day three of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 17, 2020. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Rafael Nadal admitted Sunday he had been “suffering” for 15 days with a sore back and could not guarantee he’ll play the Australian Open, with the injury threatening to derail his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam.
The world number two sat our Spain’s ATP Cup campaign in warm-up week, and he hasn’t played a competitive match since the ATP Finals in London in November.
His only appearance since was an exhibition game against Dominic Thiem in Adelaide nine days ago, where he first experienced stiffness in his back.
“Not great obviously,” he said of the back injury on the eve of the first Grand Slam of the year. “It’s true that for the last 15 days I have been suffering.
“In the beginning, the muscle was just a little bit tired but I feel (now) a little bit more stiff than usual.”
The 34-year-old has been hitting the practice courts at Melbourne Park in a desperate bid to be fit and firing for the Australian Open, which starts Monday.
Nadal insisted the injury was “not serious” but remained unsure whether he would take to the court for his first-round match against Laslo Djere of Serbia which is scheduled for Tuesday.
“The muscle is still tight, so it is difficult to play with freedom of movement,” he said.
“We are doing everything. My physio is here, the doctors here, everybody is helping me in all possible ways. I hope to be ready, that’s all. I know sometimes things change quick.”
Nadal, who has a history of back problems, refused to be drawn into whether the 14-day mandatary hotel quarantine players endured on arrival in Australia contributed to the injury.
There has been a mounting injury toll ahead of the year’s opening Grand Slam, with Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and defending champion Sofia Kenin among those carrying niggles.
“I’m not a big fan of finding excuses,” he said. “When things happen, you need to find a way to get through.”
Nadal is looking to edge ahead of Roger Federer who also has 20 Slam titles to his name, with the injured Swiss not playing in Melbourne. He plans to return to the ATP Tour at Doha next month.
Nadal, the 2009 Australian Open champion, said being healthy was his top priority.
“The only thing that I can do is stay positive, work on recovery and do all the things that I can,” he said. “Then I hope the situation will improve. Let’s see.”
If he does take his place in the draw, Nadal is on course to meet Greek rising star and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.

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Who can stop Djokovic? Controversial king eyes 9th Aussie crown

FILE – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Switzerland’s Roger Federer in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Novak Djokovic has not endeared himself to fans over the past year, but the Australian Open’s undisputed king will take some stopping as he targets a record-extending ninth title at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic claimed his 17th Grand Slam crown in last year’s gripping final, when he came back from 2-1 down to edge Austria’s Dominic Thiem in five sets.
The Serbian’s eighth victory in 16 visits reinforced his dominance in Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, where he claimed his first Grand Slam title in 2008 and has won seven of the last 10 editions.
Rafael Nadal and Thiem look to be his biggest rivals at this year’s tournament, with six-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer sidelined as he recovers from double knee surgery.
The Australian Open was the highlight of a mesmerizing early 2020 season for Djokovic, who won his first four tournaments of the year.
However, off-court, things soon unraveled for the elastic-limbed world number one.
After tennis went into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, Djokovic launched the ill-fated Adria Tour in June, with no social distancing and players pictured dancing shirtless at a packed nightclub.
Djokovic and his wife Jelena were among a number of people to subsequently test positive for the virus, with Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki also falling ill.
Line judge row
Worse was to come when tennis resumed and Djokovic defaulted out of the US Open in sensational fashion, when he angrily swiped away a ball that accidentally hit a female line judge in the throat.
His hopes of becoming the first man in half a century to win all four Slams twice then ended in a straight-sets defeat to Nadal in the French Open final.
Djokovic also drew negative comment in August for launching the Professional Tennis Players Association, a breakaway group outside the men’s tour, as tennis attempted to get back on its feet.
And he found himself labeled a “tool” by Australia’s Nick Kyrgios after requesting better conditions for players during Australia’s mandatory quarantine, including private houses with tennis courts.
Despite the off-court turbulence, Djokovic enjoys strong support in Melbourne — which has a sizeable Serbian population — and said Rod Laver Arena brings back “beautiful memories”.
“It does feel like a home for me in Australia, in Melbourne, particularly in Rod Laver,” he said.
“That is by far my most successful tennis court in my career. Had some profound memories in the last 15 years, and you know, won my first Grand Slam back in 2008.
“Had probably the most exciting matches played on this court, and definitely the longest match ever that I played was in the finals, almost six hours with Rafa (Nadal) in 2012.”
Nadal will undoubtedly figure prominently in the tournament but it is now 12 years since he won his lone title in Melbourne, despite four more trips to the final.
The Spaniard also has fitness concerns after he pulled out of the ATP Cup during warm-up week with a sore back.
Thiem came agonizingly close to victory last year and, buoyed by his first Grand Slam title at the US Open, will be confident against anyone in the draw — including Djokovic, against whom he has won five of their last seven meetings.
Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are also among the top contenders at a tournament where form is difficult to judge, with playing opportunities hard to come by during the pandemic.

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นาดาลคลายความกังวลเรื่องอาการบาดเจ็บในการฝึกซ้อมของเมลเบิร์นพาร์ค

เทนนิส – ออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่น – เมลเบิร์นพาร์คเมลเบิร์นออสเตรเลีย 6 กุมภาพันธ์ 2564 ราฟาเอลนาดาลจากสเปนระหว่างการฝึกซ้อมสำหรับออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่น REUTERS / ลอเรนเอลเลียตเมลเบิร์น – ราฟานาดาลหมายเลขสองของโลกการคลายความกลัวว่าจะได้รับบาดเจ็บที่หลังสามารถเล่นได้ Australian Open ในสัปดาห์หน้าพร้อมการฝึกอบรมพันธุ์แท้ในวันเสาร์ แชมป์แกรนด์สแลม 20 สมัยเดินทางไปที่สนาม John Cain Arena ในช่วงบ่ายที่ผ่านมาและปรากฏตัวขึ้นโดยค้านเมื่อเขาตอกลูกบอลข้ามตาข่ายด้วยความดุร้ายอันเป็นเอกลักษณ์ นาดาลถอนตัวจากการแข่งขันเอทีพีคัพของสเปนกับออสเตรเลียเมื่อวันอังคารด้วยปัญหาหลังส่วนล่างโดยกล่าวในสัปดาห์ต่อมาว่าเขายังห่างไกลจากระดับที่ต้องเล่นในแกรนด์สแลมแรกของปี 34 ปีไม่มีส่วนร่วมในแคมเปญ ATP Cup ของประเทศของเขาซึ่งจบลงด้วยการพ่ายแพ้รอบรองชนะเลิศ 2-0 กับอิตาลีเมื่อวันเสาร์ Craig Tiley ผู้อำนวยการการแข่งขัน Australian Open บอกกับสื่อท้องถิ่นว่าเขาติดต่อกับ Nadal ทุกวันและชาวสเปนได้ข้ามการแข่งขัน ATP Cup ด้วย “ความระมัดระวังเป็นพิเศษ” “เขากำลังฝึกซ้อมและเขาได้ระบุว่าเขาจะพร้อม” Tiley กล่าวเมื่อวันเสาร์ “เขาปกป้องโอกาสที่จะคว้าแชมป์แกรนด์สแลมครั้งที่ 21” นาดาลซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บที่หลังเป็นประจำในอาชีพของเขาแทบจะไม่ได้เล่นการแข่งขันในสัปดาห์ก่อนแกรนด์สแลม เขากล่าวเมื่อสุดสัปดาห์ที่แล้วว่าในช่วง 14 วันของการกักกันที่บังคับในแอดิเลดเขาได้รับการฝึกฝนเพียง 2 1/2 จากห้าชั่วโมงที่ได้รับตามระเบียบการด้านสุขภาพ เมื่อโรเจอร์เฟเดอเรอร์ตัดสินใจข้ามการแข่งขันออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่นในปีนี้ในขณะที่เขาพักฟื้นจากการผ่าตัดหัวเข่าประตูจึงเปิดให้นาดาลเสมอกับคู่แข่งสำคัญของเขาในรายการแกรนด์สแลม 20 รายการ นาดาลซึ่งชนะการแข่งขัน Australian Open เพียงครั้งเดียวในปี 2009 จะเริ่มต้นการรณรงค์ของเขาในวันอังคารด้วยการแข่งขันรอบแรกกับเซอร์เบีย Laslo Djere อ่านต่ออย่าพลาดข่าวสารและข้อมูลล่าสุด สมัครสมาชิก INQUIRER PLUS เพื่อเข้าถึง The Philippine Daily Inquirer และชื่อเรื่องอื่น ๆ อีกกว่า 70 รายการแชร์แกดเจ็ตได้สูงสุด 5 รายการรับฟังข่าวสารดาวน์โหลดเร็วที่สุด 4 โมงเช้าและแบ่งปันบทความบนโซเชียลมีเดีย โทร 896 6000 ติดต่อเราสำหรับข้อเสนอแนะข้อร้องเรียนหรือคำถาม

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Nadal still struggling with back problem ahead of Australian Open

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 2, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal watches the match between Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta and Australia’s John Millman REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo
MADRID— World number two Rafael Nadal on Thursday said doubts remain over his fitness ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
Nadal pulled out of Spain’s ATP Cup tie against Australia on Tuesday with a lower back problem and, despite some improvement, said he was still far away from the level required to play at the year’s first Grand Slam.
“It’s not that I’m in a really bad way, but I’m also not alright in the sense that I can’t play either,” Nadal told Spanish television channel Movistar+.
“I’ve improved a little but I’m not in a position where I can go and play a game at full intensity.”
Nadal’s name was also absent from Spain’s ATP Cup tie on Friday against Greece at Melbourne Park’s John Cain Arena with Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta to lead the challenge in the singles matches for last year’s finalists.
The 34-year-old, however, practiced for an hour on Thursday evening at the Rod Laver Arena and his fitness was improving “little by little, step by step,” a source close to Nadal told Reuters.
Nadal sits level with Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slam titles and, with the Swiss not taking part in Melbourne after knee surgery, the Spaniard would have the chance to become the all-time major record holder in the men’s game for the first time.
He insisted, however, that that was not something he was focused on. “First thing’s first, and that’s to play the Australian Open, and if that doesn’t go well, the season goes on,” he said.
“I’ve never been obsessed with Grand Slams, truth be told.”

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