Rafael Nadal sends message to Australian Open rivals with very good display at Tie Break Tens

After demolishing French No. 18 Lucas Pouille 10-1, Rafael Nadal had to save a match point to defeat Lleyton Hewitt in a wild 13-11 tiebreak.

The final against Tomas Berdych was tight early on before the sweet-swinging Czech overpowered Rafa in the latter stages of the match, a perfectly executed wide serve followed up by a volley to the open court establishing a 6-3 lead that Rafa was unable to pull back. Rafa saved one match point at 9-4 but a double-handed backhand on the next point sailed just wide for Berdych to claim the win at the Tie Break Tens tournament in Melbourne.

Rafa’s court coverage and powerful ground strokes look ready for another lengthy Melbourne Park campaign when the year’s first Grand Slam commences on Monday.

Lleyton Hewitt 10-6 Novak Djokovic
Lucas Pouille 1-10 Rafael Nadal
Tomas Berdych 10-8 Nick Kyrgios
Milos Raonic 10-7 Dominic Thiem

Lleyton Hewitt 11-13 Rafael Nadal
Tomas Berdych 11-9 Milos Raonic

Rafael Nadal 5-10 Tomas Berdych

Source: news.com.au


  1. Rafa although I didn’t see it here on Sydney TV<

    from the comments above it all sounded good.

    All the best for next week,

    Love and prayers,


    • I didn’t see it but there’s lots of lovely highlights on YouTube. It was very light hearted and a lot of fun!

  2. VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) wi……wi……..wi……..wi……: ) Very happy for you DEAR RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) LOVE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) ; ) : ) : ) You bring so much beauty and class and true comradeship to any event you participate in…..BRILLIANT PLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) We are enjoying it all with you and loving all the fun photos…….ci…..ci……ci……CHAMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU ARE VERY SPECIAL PLAYER & A CLASSY TENNIS GENIUS RAFA NADAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ; ) : ) : ) : ) : ) WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ; ) ; ) ; ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Enjoy everyhting & have a beautiful evening!!! : ) XOXOXOXO

    • Rafa wished him good luck in doubles [at the AO] after beating him at the Tie Break Tens. He will partner with Sam Groth who is retiring.


  3. Rafa was all smiles, dimples and excitement after beating Hewitt and was so excited he could barely talk. Rafa said he expected a hard time from one of the best competitors in Tennis.

    While it’s hard to take too much away from the event, his performances will have done no harm in building up his confidence for the Australian Open.

    The Spaniard played with a ruthless efficiency in his opening clash with the Frenchman and, most encouragingly, seemed to move really well.

    He served well, returned well, hit his general strokes well – and topped it all off with the winner of the night against Hewitt.

    It’s hard to be overly negative but if there was one criticism, it would be the deep position he adopted when facing the Berdych serve.

    Sitting so far back allowed the Czech to force him wide and he was unable to recover across the court in time due to the speed of the surface.

    Probably not a tactic to employ against the biggest servers when the first Grand Slam of the year rolls around.

  4. I got up very early to watch this event. I was curious about the format. Rafa started out on fire and then played well against Hewitt. I was disappointed in his play in the final where he had several UFEs. I think Rafa may have run out of steam. He had practiced with Sascha Zverev and had a Kia event that day. He moved well and that should be encouraging to us Rafans. Also, Berdych played very well in all his matches. He played with a “nothing to lose” freedom that we rarely see from him. He deserved the $250,000 check.

    • He did look a little bit tired I have to admit but take nothing from Berdych. I am just pleased that Rafa is fit and ready to go. Hope he gets a good draw.

    • va4favre, thank you for letting us know that the event is on WatchESPN (pretty unusual for ESPN to live stream a small exhibition event, but no complaints from me even though I lost a few hours of sleep. :-)). Rafa played two great ties, especially the first one, vintage Rafa. Great to see him move well, and being so happy (what a smile he has)! As far as his return position, he has shown us in the US Open that he can make adjustments during the match. Can’t wait for AO to start!

      • YB, You are very welcome, but I did not realize until it started that it was also on cable at ESPN 2! What I liked best was seeing Rafa smile so much. He would not do that if he was hurting. He was a big crowd favorite second only to the Aussies. His shots were the most exiting, but it was a let down to see him drop his level in the final. I did give a lot of credit to Tomas too.

    • I agree with you va4favre, in the third match against Berdych, Rafa didn’t look nearly as good as he did in the previous two. Lots of possible reasons for that, but overall, watching him playing this event has made me feel much more positive about Rafa’s chances at the AO.

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