Rafael Nadal beat Yannick Hanfmann and advanced to the third round of the Australian Open
The Spanish tennis playerRafael Nadal, number 5 in the world ranking, qualified for the third round of the Australian Open after defeating in Melbourne German Yannick Hanfmann (126th) in three sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Against Hanfmann, a rival who put up a fight, Nadal was physically very solid in a match that lasted 2 hours and 42 minutes. The man from Manaco had 30 winning shots against 26 of his own errors, in addition to needing five match points to conclude the match.
Despite the forcefulness of the scoreboard, Nadal had to concentrate to win and at the end of the match he praised his opponent. “Today his level was much higher than what his ranking indicates,” said Rafa, 35. In the next round, on Friday, he will seek a pass to the round of 16 against Russian Karen Khashanov (30), who beat Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi (63). The winner of 20 Grand Slam tournaments confirmed his good level, after a first win against the American Marcos Giron (66), after months of absence to heal a foot injury and having contracted covid-19 last December.
A few days ago, Nadal had commented on the controversy surrounding Novak Djokovic, who was finally deported from Australia for not complying with the vaccine scheme and having failed in his attempt to appeal the decision with the assistance of his lawyers. Now, after his latest triumph, he spoke about his tennis progress, how the balls have changed over time on the ATP Tour and his scaphoid problem.
“A very important rival is going to come to me if everything goes as it seems and I have to be prepared. What I celebrate is that I am again competing more or less well. In the first two games I have not lost serve. In my opinion, the first set was very hard. You have to see the glass half full because there are many things that deserve to be seen that way. I know I’m not even close to my maximum, but on Friday I will be on the track and little by little I hope to move better and find my positions and my automatisms on the track. Understand when I have to hit some shots and when I have to hit others”.
“The first day I arrived in Melbourne I trained fantastic. What I have improved is that I have played and I have won the five games. I have a title and that always gives you a little peace of mind. I have trained here for almost three weeks with top-level players from the circuit, and I have been able to do it. It’s the way to go”.
exchange of balls
“The ball dynamics since I arrived at the circuit until today it has changed completely. When I arrived at the circuit they were balls that took much more spin, more alive; now they are hollower and heavier and do not jump. That favors people who play flat. It misses the show because it makes us all play in a very similar way and I understand that tennis is more fun when there are different options”.
Difference play day and night
“With these balls there is a lot of difference. These night balls take much less spin. If you give me a choice, I prefer to play during the day. At night those who hit the ball flat do not have any sense of error. The track drinks the effect that you give it. People think that ground players are good at slow balls and it is totally the opposite. A ball that flies in the air is better for us.”
“With the scaphoid split in half it is difficult for the injury to be forgotten. This is a truth like a temple and it will not be forgotten for the rest of my life. The rest is fooling you and fooling me. I have a problem that has no solution there below. Another thing is that he can let me compete with more or less guarantees and that is what we are trying to do. It’s too little baggage to have a clear conclusion, With what I have down there I don’t expect the conditions for the rest of my career to be perfect but I do trust that I continuously allowed myself to develop my professional activity. That is what I would sign to face the future with a little positivism. What I am not going to do is play without having options at all or for it to be extreme suffering. Suffering with options is always going to be worth it. If the suffering is without options to achieve the objectives, it loses its meaning. I play because it makes me happy and because challenges motivate me. If there comes a time when pain overcomes everything else, and takes away the illusion of achieving goals, it’s time to think about other things. Right now I am not in that line because I have returned with great enthusiasm after many months without being able to do what I used to do and I trust that it will continue like this. I have to be prepared to accept what may come in this life. I’m not a negative thinker, I’m a positive person in general and I try to see things thinking that they’re going to get better”.
Death of Paco Gento
“Unfortunately I didn’t have the luck to see him play. If that I met him in person sometime in Madrid. It’s a sad day because a Madrid legend is leaving and of our sport. They are characters that you never think will go away. The same thing happened to me with Manolo recently. I send a hug to his family and close people.”