Rafael Nadal and Jack Draper will be looking to book a place in the Australian Open second round on Monday (3:30 am, UK time).
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Where to watch Rafael Nadal vs Jack Draper on TV:
- UK: Eurosport
- US: ESPN+
Age might very well be catching up to Rafal Nadal, who took an injury break in the second half of 2022, since returning he’s been losing regularly to younger and hungrier opponents. The decorated Spaniard has already suffered consecutive three-setter defeats this year against Alex de Minaur and Cameron Norrie at the United Cup. “Yes, without a doubt,” he told reporters when asked if he feels vulnerable heading into his Australian Open defence.
“I have been losing more than usual, so that’s part of the business. By the way, I didn’t play that bad in the first two matches of the year. I lost against two great opponents, but had very positive chances to win both matches.” History is somewhat on Nadal’s side as he’s only lost one first-round match in the tournament so far in his career, which came against Fernando Verdasco in a five-set classic in 2016.
Following a successful campaign in Adelaide in the week leading up to the Aussie Open there’s a sense Jack Draper could make history in this opening round clash with Nadal but fitness could be an issue. The young Brit has faced regular fitness issues throughout his career, just a few days ago Draper played out an intense three-setter against Soon Woo Kwon for a place in the Adelaide International 2 finals, the limited recovery time could play a factor in his first-ever showdown with Nadal. On top of that, Draper’s most recent Grand Slam campaign ended in retirement at the US Open a few months ago.