PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses in three sets to Alex de Manaur at United Cup

Rafael Nadal has started 2023 with a 6-3 1-6 5-7 loss to Alex de Manaur at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.

In two hours and 42 minutes, de Minaur weathered periods of powerful shots from Rafa, while applying enough pressure to force Rafa to fumble.

Australia now takes a 1-0 lead over Spain in Group D at the United Cup.

“I was very close to win against two great players. I am not too alarmed,” Rafa told reporters. “I need to be a little bit faster on the court. Last year I had lost two matches in Abu Dhabi too.”


  1. Nadal made a mistake by continueing talking about his end of his career. His injuries and other things. He has now created a selfilfulling prophecy. Now every time he is losing journalist are going to talk about retiring. They are not going to let it go. He should stop talking about his age, end of his carriere and also his injuries. He should refuse to answer these questions or just walk away. Every time he is going to play a tournament they will ask if it is the last time

    • Rafa has always been honest in his interviews and that is not going to change. He has made clear that he is not thinking about retirement and is obviously irritated by those who keep asking him about it. We also know that he does not like to dwell on his injuries, apart from acknowledging them as a fact. The journalists who ask these questions repeatedly are not tennis experts; so they can’t talk about his game (or anyone else’s). They are just looking for a ‘good’ story. Irritating for Rafa and for all Rafafans but it goes with the territory. Years ago, when Rafa’s form and confidence dipped, (I think it was about six years ago) journalists were continually asking whether he had considered replacing Uncle Toni as his Head Coach. His answer was always the same. His dip in form had nothing to do with his Coach and he had no intention of replacing (blaming) Uncle Toni. He made clear that it was up to him to find a solution and he did.

      2023 will be tough for Rafa because he is older now and a little bit slower. He is still a great tennis player of course and is a much better player over five sets than many of his rivals. That said, Rafa has not played many matches since his triumphant French Open over six months ago; so he is not match tough at the moment and therefore lacking in confidence. He is of course well aware of that. With the benefit of hindsight, Rafa might have been better off entering a couple of smaller tournaments before the AO, where his seeding would have given him a few easier matches in the early rounds. Nothing like winning to restore confidence.

      I am not sure about the United Cup Format. It does seem rather complicated. Let’s see if they modify it over time. Unfortunately, I don’t have (and have no intention of ever subscribing to) BT Sport; so haven’t been able to watch it anyway. I do hope Amazon Prime Video renew their contract with the ATP to cover the ATP Tournaments over the next five years. They have provided more comprehensive and better coverage in the UK than Sky and Eurosport used to.

      Very best wishes to Rafa and his Family for 2023 and to all GENUINE Rafafans on this site. (We all know there are a few interlopers on this site, whose only ambition is to wind everyone else up. They are to be pitied.)

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