Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday January 1 2022

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal lost for the sixth time in seven matches as he dropped a three-setter to Alex de Minaur at United Cup.

Photo Source: Getty

Of late, no matter how hard Rafael Nadal seems to try – or how well he plays – the legendary Spaniard can’t seem to find a way to win. Nadal lost for the sixth time in his last seven matches on Monday at the United Cup in Sydney, dropping to 0-2 on the young season as he was upended by Australia’s Alex de Minaur, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.

Tennis Express

Nadal, who also squandered a one-set lead in his first match of the season, to Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, played well at times but was done in by a poor service game in the final set that gave De Minaur a critical break for 6-5 in the final set.

De Minaur improves to 1-3 lifetime against Nadal thanks to the type of inspired performance he has become known for, especially on home soil. He took the play to Nadal, blanketed the court with incredible footspeed and didn’t drop his nerve during a tense third set that featured a trade of breaks in the fifth and sixth games.

De Minaur earns his biggest career win by ranking against No.2-ranked Nadal, and has now won two consecutive matches against the Top-5 after dropping his first eighteen.

He broke Nadal six times on 13 opportunities and won 40 percent of his first-serve return points.

“I had my chances again, but I make couple of important mistakes at the moments that I can't do mistakes if I want to win these kind of matches,” Nadal said.

Despite the difficult string of losses, Nadal remains sanguine about his chances.

“I need hours on court. I need battles like this. Didn't play much official matches the last six months, almost seven,” he said. “Days like these two helps. Of course with victories the process is faster, but I need to keep fighting. That's it. For moments I played very good level of tennis. Playing very good with the backhand. Changing directions with the forehand.”

Nadal will next appear at the Australian Open, where he will defend his title as he bids for a record 23rd men’s singles Grand Slam title. The Aussie Open begins on January 15.

“I need to keep fighting. Need to keep finding the rhythm,” he said. “I have two weeks before the Australian Open start. I can't say that the situation is ideal, but at the same time, I can't say that it's very negative, because for moments I was playing good. I think that two matches is gonna help me. I need to win couple of matches. But the level was not that bad.”


Latest News