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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday January 18, 2023


Rafael Nadal may be heartbroken, but he's not done fighting. This and more in our Day 3 wrap.

Photo Source: Getty

The happy Slam powered along on Day 3 in fits and starts, with the rain causing delays for the second consecutive day. But there was still plenty of tennis to watch and get excited about…

Tennis Express

A sad day for Rafa

Once the shock of Nadal’s second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald started to wear off there was nothing left to do but try to make sense of it. Will Nadal be able to get his body right this spring, so that he may make a run at another Roland-Garros title? Will the legendary Spaniard, now 36, have the opportunity to finish his career on his terms, and – worst question of all – how close are we to the end?

A gutted Nadal doesn’t want to think about the long-term future at the moment. He simply wants to get a better idea of what this new injury is all about, and how soon he can begin to play again.

We defer to the 22-time Slam champion here. This is what he had to say after his match, and it sounds hopeful.

“It's a very simple thing: I like what I do,” he said, describing what keeps him going at this stage of his career.. “I like playing tennis. I know it's not forever. I like to feel myself competitive. I like to fight for the things that I have been fighting for almost half of my life or even more. And that's it. It's not that complicated to understand, no? When you like to do one thing, at the end, sacrifices always make sense, because the "sacrifice" word is not like this. When you do things that you like to do, at the end of the day, it's not a sacrifice. You are doing the things that you want to do.”

To us that sounds like a man that is willing to do everything in his power to get healthy and keep pursing his dreams on his tennis court. Don’t even mention the R word. Not yet.

Iga’s still rocking

When Iga Swiatek told the crowd that she had changed her playlist for the first time in two years, we were curious.

“I actually just changed my playlist before the match,” she told the crowd after her round 2 win over Camila Osorio. “I was listening to the same songs for like two years. So it was tough. But I did that and it's working. So hopefully the songs are not going to mess up my head.”

So what’s on the new playlist? More of the same…

“It's still rock. Just different songs,” she said. Red Hot Chili Peppers…I think Black Sabbath is there, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin but different songs than before, and Lenny Kravitz. Different but still the same kind of stuff.”

Collins Steals the Show

Note to Danielle Collins. The 10-point tiebreaker to decide Grand Slam matches is a thing! Watch as the American prematurely celebrates a victory over Karolina Muchova late on Day 3. Not to worry, Collins locked up the victory a few points later.

Tiafoe Endorses China’s Shang Juncheng

Frances Tiafoe was able to notch a routine win over Juncheng Shang on Day 3, but the experience most certainly left the American impressed with the Chinese teen. “That dude is special. He is going to be a problem for a long time,” Tiafoe said. “He is 17 playing like that, hitting the ball like that, moving like that. Whew, the boy is a problem. That boy is going to be mean.”

Tiafoe did find one area that needs to improve, however: the serve.

“Forehand, he can hit it hard. On the run, he can hit great shots,” he said. “He is pretty skilled. He can slice. He has all the shots. Serve, his serve can get better. He will be really tough. I feel like every return game I made him pay. That's only going to get better. He is 17. So once that gets better…”

Team USA locked and loaded

A hilarious development at the Australian Open is the camera signs by American players. There’s a “locked in” mantra that was started by Frances Tiafoe at United Cup, where the Americans triumphed last week, and it has spilled over to Melbourne. On Day 2 Taylor Fritz famously flubbed his camera sign, which went viral on Twitter. Today, Jessica Pegula signed the same, but didn’t fumble the drawing. Whatever the Americans are doing, it’s working – keep it up!

A 70-Shot rally? Really?

Jason Kubler and Karen Khachanov were “feeling each other out” in the second set of their tussle on Day 3. Phew… and it ends on a let cord winner!

Rafa's wife in tears

You want to talk raw emotions? Check out Rafael Nadal's wife in tears as his team stresses over Nadal's injury on Wednesday night in Melbourne. Everybody, gutted. 

Shot of the day?

It may be the shot of the day. It may not be the shot of the day. Whatever it was, it was pretty special from Magda Linette.


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