• Sports - Tennis - Gossips
  • Updated: January 16, 2023

Nadal Secures Victory Over Injured Draper In Australian Open

Nadal Secures Victory Over Injured Draper In Australian Open

Defending Champion Rafael Nadal began his title defence with a win over British Star Jack Draper in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.

The Spaniard wore down Draper 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 in three hours and 40 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

The victory takes Nadal, 36, into the second round where he will face Mackenzie McDonald, who was an earlier winner over his American compatriot Brandon Nakashima.

"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 said.

"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 was broken first game of the final set when Draper - who had a burst from the blocks - punished a dubious attempted drop-shot with a winner.

But the 36-year-old went on to win six games in succession to win the match with his trademark hammer forehands as physical issues cost the left-hander Briton the game.

Draper, 21, struggled with what appeared to be a cramp and in the third set was unable to push off on serve by the latter stages of the fourth.

Despite the victory, Nadal was unconvincing as he had a tally of 45 unforced errors in the match which was uncharacteristic of him.

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