PHOTOS: Nadal beats Smyczek and advances to third round at Australian Open

An ailing Rafael Nadal battled past qualifier Tim Smyczek in five sets to reach the Australian Open third round.

Rafa fought back to win 6-2 3-6 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 7-5 and avoid his earliest ever defeat in Melbourne.

Our champ required treatment from the doctor for stomach cramps in the third set and repeatedly doubled over in pain.

Rafael Nadal: “Today the conditions were a little humid for me. I tried to deal with my condition and the support of a fantastic crowd really helped. I don’t know what was going on. In the second set I started having cramps around my body, but all these processes are normal after a long time off the tour and hopefully I will be back to my normal level soon.” (via BBC)

13 comments

  1. Incredible fighter, what an exciting match, congratulations! Twelve years my favorite. Good luck and win the Australian Open.

    Luchador increíble, lo que es un partido emocionante, ¡enhorabuena! Doce años mi favorito. Buena suerte y ganar el Abierto de Australia.

  2. Rafa made me cry looking at him today but he’s a warrior on court and I’m sure he got all the positives out of this match today! He grimaced, threw up, sweat pouring down his head, stood up and netted so many balls, missed so many lines today,and still turn around this match, a champion to the heart and Tim really gave Rafa a big test today as if Joker was playing him a 5 setter. Great fight Rafa ! Happy you did it as you always do! Feel better and good luck in the next rounds!

  3. That’s why they call them “GRAND Slams”! Rafa is the best grand slammer there is no matter who is on the other end of the battlefield. Overcoming pain and carrying onto
    the finish line and exploding with such emotion in the end was awe-inspiring.

    Kudos to Tim for testing Rafa throughout the whole match. So glad Rafa “aced” the
    test! Thankfully, Rafa has a day off before his next match. What a “thriller”! Always
    a joy to watch the resiliency and wrath of Rafa!

  4. Rafa is so a big fighter!! Take rest and enjoy the win. This match will give him a lot of confidence! Vamos!!

  5. m
    thank God..what a match honey..my heart melted watching u in pain..dnt worry God is with us Rafa..He will Heal u..hard luck Tim
    but great play..Well Rafa..u’ve shown the true
    spirit n sportmanship…Guys lets Pray for this
    humble guy..God give him good health n
    confidence..take rest n go on dear..Prayers
    always for u..:-)..

  6. All the best for you and quick improvement! I’ve seen your pain. You’re always my Champion! Best greetings from Vienna

  7. Rafael Nadal Am so sory You where in Pain I could tell you where not ok <Hey But You Did It You Won <& You are a true Champion ,KING OF TENNIS ..Have lots of rest & Sleep & you will be much better soon .Much Love & Good luck in Next Round <3
    <3
    X0X0

  8. Well done Rafa, don’t let the journeymen trouble ya! The big guns await in week 2. Make sure to be there and beat all of them!

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