Spaniard Rafael Nadal will play against Britain’s Jack Draper in the first round of the Australian Open. The match will take place on January 16, starting at 03:30 GMT.
Australian Open 2023
|Rafael Nadal||vs||Jack Draper|
Date: January 16, 2023.
Tournament: Australian Open 2023.
Round: First round (Round of 128).
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia.
Category: Grand Slam.
Prize Money: A$76,500,000.
Rafael Nadal started the season with two defeats for the first time this season. And after that, almost no one had any doubts that the king of clay would not be able to defend the title in Melbourne.
At the United Cup, Rafa lost first to Briton Cameron Norrie, and then to Australian Alex De Minaur. In both cases, the tennis player took the first set, but eventually lost.
Nadal has lost six in seven previous matches. At the end of the year, the Spaniard did not go through a single round at the Masters in Paris and did not leave the group at the Final Tournament.
The week before the Australian Open, Nadal lost to Hubert Hurkach in a practice match on Melbourne’s center court – 6:7, 5:7.
Jack Draper, meanwhile, is one of the Australian Open debutants. The week before the season’s first major, the Brit reached the semi-finals in Adelaide.
Jack won victories over Lorenzo Sonego, Tommy Paul and Karen Khachanov, after which he lost to the South Korean Kwon Sung Wu. At the same time, it is worth noting that before the defeat, the tennis player did not give a single set to his opponents.
At the first tournament in Adelaide, Draper only made it through one round. After defeating Kwon Sun Wu (6:2, 6:1), the 21-year-old tennis player lost to Khachanov (4:6, 2:6).
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Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between them, so the head-to-head stands at (0-0) for now.
|Rafael Nadal win 1.44||Jack Draper win 2.80|
Draper comes into this fight right after the Adelaide semi-final and Nadal’s preparation is far from perfect. Although the Spaniard has fought valiantly in both of his defeats this year, he will need to step up significantly for a successful title defense.
Draper does have everything to disappoint here, but the defending champion’s experience should help the Spaniard win for now.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal (win in four sets).