- Nadal Digs Deep To Edge Smyczek (via ATP World Tour)
Nadal maintained his record of never losing to a qualifier at a Grand Slam championship, but his 6-2, 3-6, 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-5 win kept fans on Rod Laver Arena on the edges of their seats.
- Shakily, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova Survive Upset Bids (via New York Times)
His knees, back, wrist and appendix have all failed Rafael Nadal recently. On Wednesday, his stomach joined the list of ailments, but he gutted out a five-set victory, 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-5, to reach the third round of the Australian Open.
- Out-of-sorts Rafa survives in five (via ESPN)
The rusty No. 3 seed was solid enough in his opening victory over Mikhail Youzhny, dropping only seven games, but against American qualifier Tim Smyczekin Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday night, Rafa looked genuinely out of sorts. It was evident in his always-expressive brown eyes. And some obvious and ongoing stomach distress throughout the match.
- Nadal Survives Challenge in Day 3 at Australian Open (via Wall Street Journal)
Smyczek has won six Grand Slam matches in his career. Nadal has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles. Until late in the fifth set, Smyczek was the better player. Finally, he cracked. At 5-5 in the fifth set, two perfect Nadal passing shots and a Smyczek miss gave Nadal the break of serve he needed.
Hampered by his physical issues, the usually miserly Nadal made 53 unforced errors over the course of four hours and 12 minutes on a humid evening in Melbourne.
- Nadal lives to fight another day (via Australian Open)
“In terms of feeling bad on the court, yes. Probably yes,” he said. “I was close to not continue because I felt that I was very dizzy. After the third, fourth, and fifth (sets), I tried to play much more aggressive, without running, no running anymore, and try to go for the winners. In terms of physically, at the end of the match I started to feel little bit better.”
But when Rafa let three match points go from 40-0, the cause for concern returned. A critical backhand down the line earned Nadal a fourth shot at victory, which he didn’t squander. “I’ve had a lot of tough moments on this court but I love Australia and the crowd,” said Nadal, who lived to play another day.
- An interview with Tim Smyczek (via Australian Open)
It was pretty clear Rafa didn’t have his best stuff. But it just shows the kind of player, the kind of champion he is because, you know, he was sick and not playing well. That was his C or D game. He found a way to win. So hats off to him. That’s why he’s one of the best.
- Nadal beats Smyczek and advances to third round at Australian Open
- Gallery: Nadal v Smyczek (via Australian Open)
- Photos from Rafa’s Day 2 Practice Session (via Grand Slam Girl)
- Rafael Nadal Practicing In Melbourne (January 20, 2015)
- AO 2015: Rafael Nadal v Tim Smyczek – highlights, match point & celebration, interview…
- Tim Smyczek Shows Amazing Sportsmanship Against Rafael Nadal
- Hitting the court with Rafael Nadal (via Yahoo!7 TV)
- Why tennis stars love Melbourne (via Australian Open)
- An interview with Rafael Nadal – Jan 20, 2015
- Rafael Nadal Uncovered – ATP World Tour