Rafael Nadal isn’t pleased with the Australian Open as he vented his frustrations days earlier than the Grand Slam will get underway.
The tennis celebrity took intention on the balls getting used for the 2023 match, labelling them the “worse high quality”.
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Nadal reigned supreme in a five-set epic in opposition to Daniil Medvedev final 12 months in a win that noticed him seize his twenty first Grand Slam victory. Shifting forward Roger Federer on the all-time record.
He’ll kick of his 2023 marketing campaign as the highest seed on Monday afternoon when he takes on Britain’s Jack Draper.
The 36-year-old nevertheless enters after a lower than beneficial construct up which noticed him lose twice through the United Cup in Sydney to Australia’s Alex de Minaur and Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
He then fell in a follow match to world quantity 11 Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday. All three matches had one factor in widespread and it’s what Nadal believes is the largest challenge on the Australian Open.
The Spaniard mentioned he had tailored to the surfaces in Melbourne, however mentioned it was the Open’s new official ball, Dunlop, which was inflicting points.
“No, the velocity of the court docket I believe (is) not massive distinction. The ball, sure. I don’t know.
“They are saying (it) is identical, however the ball is worse high quality, undoubtedly. We will’t speak about that any extra. It’s what we’ve. We have to play with it.
“I believe it’s a ball that doesn’t get the identical spin as standard. After a few hits, the ball loses the stress. It’s tougher to hit with the correct spin. However I believe it’s simpler to play whenever you play flatter on the photographs.”
Nadal’s recreation fashion over time has been predicated on insane quantities of prime spin, however with the brand new balls he finds himself behind the eight-ball.
Regardless of this, the 22-time Grand Slam winner isn’t backing away and is able to adapt to the problem the balls current.
“I have to stay with it,” he added. “I believe I practised sufficient with the ball to be prepared for it.”
Nadal has misplaced six of his previous seven match matches, a truth he brushed apart by stating the previous couple of weeks have been a constructive.
“My private momentum shouldn’t be unhealthy, I inform you. I’m good and blissful. I’m practising properly. Then I have to win a few matches,” Nadal mentioned.
“If that may occur right here – I hope. If don’t, I going to maintain working to make that occur as quickly as potential … I believe I’m in an enchancment second that I’ve been higher and higher each single week. I really feel sooner within the legs. I really feel taking part in higher with extra confidence. The final three weeks of preparation right here have been very constructive from my perspective”
He added: “I might like to arrive right here with a few victories, sure. That didn’t occur, so I want to just accept that, have to stay with it. The remainder of the components of my recreation that I’ve been working with, I’m fairly blissful and I really feel prepared, when it comes to attempting to play an excellent tennis on Monday. Then I have to make that occur and I’m going to struggle for it.”
Nadal’s Australian Open title defence will get underway at 2:30pm (AEDT) on Monday, January 16.