Rafa Nadal reduces Draper and advances to second round in Australia

Cristina Bucsa continues in a day with eliminations of Pedro Martínez, Jaume Munar and Bernabé Zapata

MADRID, 16 (.)

The Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal has advanced to the second round of the Australian Open, the first ‘Grand Slam’ of the season and in which he defends the title won in 2022, after beating the British Jack Draper in four sets in his debut this Monday ( 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1).

At the Rod Laver Arena, the Spaniard, the main favorite in the ocean competition in the absence of world number one, Carlos Alcaraz from Murcia, needed three hours and 41 minutes to defeat the 21-year-old, who even tied the contest.

In fact, the Briton served with 6-5 to force the ‘tie-break’ of the first set, but the pressure got the better of him and he gave in to a right cross from Nadal that gave the Spaniard an advantage in the match. However, he was able to rally early in the second set by linking to four straight game wins.

The man from Manacor still defended himself against two ‘break’ balls in the fifth game, but ended up giving up the partial before starting the third stronger (4-1). Draper, despite his physical problems in the thigh of his right leg, returned the break, but another break in the tenth and final game, on his second chance, left him just one set away from the final victory.

The Spaniard started badly, losing his serve, but he recovered to win all the following games to meet in the next round with the American Mackenzie Mcdonald, who secured the pass after beating his compatriot Brandon Nakashima (7-6 (5), 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-7(10), 6-4).

“It has been a very positive start if we take my last six months as a reference. For me it has not been a bad game. I knew it would have ups and downs, but I need victories. I have had a very positive attitude. When you are in a positive dynamic, everything worries you At least, you know you can move things forward. That’s why the most important thing today was to win. I give myself the opportunity to play another game again,” Nadal said.

The number two in the world arrived at Melbourne Park with a streak of six defeats in his last seven games, including the two he played in the United Cup at the beginning of 2023.


Nadal was the only Spanish survivor in the men’s draw this Monday, in which Pedro Martínez, Jaume Munar and Bernabé Zapata fell, while in the women’s, from which the injured Paula Badosa fell in recent days, Cristina Bucsa has managed to sneak into the second round.

The tennis player born in Chisinau, number 100 in the WTA ranking and coming from the previous phase, traced her duel against the German Eva Lys (2-6, 6-0, 6-2), who had gone ahead after reacting to the break initial of the Spanish winning the following five games.

Bucsa responded with a ‘donut’ in the second set, before ending the game in one hour and 46 minutes with two new breaks. She will now face Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who surprised Czech Marie Bouzkova (6-2, 6-4) in the first round.

For his part, Pedro Martínez said goodbye to Melbourne after losing in three sets to the world number 11, the Pole Hubert Hurkacz (7-6(1), 6-2, 6-2). The man from Alzira, number 60 in the ATP ranking, only had real options in a first set that escaped him in the tie-break, before giving up and giving up two serves in each of the remaining sets.

Jaume Munar from the Balearic Islands did not surpass the first round either, who fell against all odds against the Czech Dalibor Svrcina (6-3, 6-2, 6-2), number 216 in the world and coming from the previous phase. After 51 unforced errors and after conceding up to 18 break opportunities, the number 64 in the ranking said goodbye at the first exchange.

Lastly, on Monday also marked the goodbye of Bernabé Zapata against the Russian Karen Khachanov (7-6(3), 6-2, 6-0). The Valencian debuted in the oceanic contest and managed to lead the world number 20 to sudden death in the opening set, but gave way forcefully in the next two.

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