Rafa Roundup: January 14, 2014

ARTICLES:

… World No. 1 Rafael Nadal’s eagerly anticipated first-round clash with Bernard Tomic ended in anti-climax as the Australian was forced to retire with a left leg injury after losing the first set 6-4 in the Rod Laver Arena night match.

… Nadal’s next opponent will be another Australian, 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis, who in some ways is not so dissimilar a character from Tomic. “I practiced with him in the past,” Nadal revealed. “He has a great future and will be a very tough match for me if I am not able to play my best.”

… The most interesting aspect of these 10 games was Nadal’s serve. He hit it crisply and smacked five aces, but he also used more slice than he normally does. It was effective, and pushed Tomic wider than he expected to go on his backhand side—Bernie won just six of 26 return points. We’ll see if Rafa keeps it up in the next round, when he faces an even younger Aussie, 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis.

… “Estoy seguro de que yo les eché más de menos a ustedes en 2013 que ustedes a mi”, añade, para luego explicar por qué se toca constantemente la mano izqueirda.

… “It’s tough playing Rafa with two legs, let alone one. There’s nothing I could do,” he said.

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