With less than a month before the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal is preparing to hunt down his 21st career Grand Slam. In 2020, the Spanish phenomenon won his 13th Roland Garros, tying the all-time record of his eternal rival Roger Federer after a very long chase.
The absence of King Roger in Australia could help Rafa, who will pass quarantine in Adelaide alongside Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and the Top 3 of the women’s standings. Speaking on Tennis Channel, United States coach Paul Annacone believes Nadal can still win in Melbourne, but he will have to hope not to meet the better version of Djokovic (who beat him in the last act in 2012 and 2019).
Annacone on Rafael Nadal’s luck in Melbourne
“I just think Rafael Nadal is just a little worse on a hard court than Novak Djokovic as is Roger Federer on a faster court.
But compared to all the others, I would have put it ahead. If he plays Novak at the end of the tournament, I don’t bet on him. But if he’s playing with someone else, I’ll bet on him.
I think the most important thing for Nadal is to spend the first week relatively comfortably, “said Paul Annacone. However, Annacone compared Nadal’s performance at the Australian Open to that of the US Open, where the latter won four titles.
Having received a brief hiatus before the US Open, Nadal is thriving at the Flushing Meadows as he already has a lot of matches under his belt. “That’s one of those questions. Why didn’t he win more there? Four US Open titles is a tough zone in Australia too.
So when he starts the year in Australia he comes out of a long hiatus, he gets a few matches, maybe the ATP Cup, here and there, but by the time the US Open rolls around he has a little bit of break after Wimbledon.
Rafa is incredibly close to winning this feat as he only needs an Australian Open title. Unfortunately for him, this title has eluded him over the years. Since his victory in 2009, the Spaniard has reached 4 finals in Melbourne.
Unfortunately, he lost them all, which he is certainly not happy with. Hopefully 2021 will be the year Rafael Nadal finally gets his hands on the title.
[ source link ]
#Rafael #Nadal #played #Majors #Paul #Annacone