Can a Next Genner make a breakthrough against one of the Big 3 in a Grand Slam? And again, I’m going to guess the answer is no. Tsitsipas may be ready, but Nadal has played his way into the tournament and looks prepared to peak at the right time. Winner: Nadal
- Quarterfinal preview: What to watch on Day 10 | Australian Open
Notably, Nadal hasn’t defeated a top 10 player in Melbourne since 2017, falling to Marin Cilic, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. Pushed to a marathon five sets by Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round, Tsitsipas has spent just 20 minutes less on court during AO2021 than Nadal due to the withdrawal of Matteo Berrettini in the round of 16.
- Nadal’s Serve +1 Hammer | braingametennis.com
Of the 151 times Rafa has started the point with a serve and a forehand, he has won 98 of them. That’s good for 65%. That’s crushingly good. It’s an outrageously high win percentage for a grouping of points that almost all fall into the category of “baseline” points. Yes, there is a sprinkling of net points in there as well, but precious few.
So, Rafa has hit a Serve +1 forehand 77% of the time and won 65%. That an A+ strategy any way you want to slice it.
“Who also seems to have overcome his physical problems is Novak Djokovic, who has managed to qualify for the quarter-final round after defeating Canadian Milos Raonic,” Toni Nadal wrote in his column for El Pais.
“In the case of the Serbian, it is surprising that so repeatedly annoyances come over him, to the point of sowing doubts about his permanence in the tournament, and then disappear overnight.”
Nadal echoed his uncle’s sentiments when asked about the injury at the Australian Open, with the Spanish star doubting whether Djokovic’s assessment of the injury was accurate. Nadal, who has dealt with a raft of injury issues throughout his career, said if Djokovic does have a muscle tear he’ll only make it worse by playing.
VIDEO: Rafael Nadal’s press conference following his fourth round victory over Fabio Fognini at the 2021 Australian Open.
Social media about Rafa:
You might think that a pandemic would result in a reduction of selfie requests. Sadly for Rafael Nadal, that wasn’t the case when he was spotted training on an exercise bike at the Australian Open…