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Rafael Nadal was ‘extremely nervous’ in Australian Open with three errors picked out

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Renowned tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou has picked out three weak points to Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open final victory over Daniil Medvedev which, to him, made the Spaniard’s 21st Grand Slam triumph even more surprising.

A full 10 years younger than Nadal, Medvedev was believed to hold the advantage if last month’s final went the five-set distance.

rafael-nadal

But it was the 35-year-old who prevailed after an epic shootout, which saw Nadal come back from two sets down to claim his first Melbourne crown since 2009.
Medvedev was hailed as the tournament favourite by many after Novak Djokovic’s controversial deportation from Australia.

Moratoglou, who can boast names such as Serena Williams and Stefanos Tsitsipas on his coaching CV, pointed out that Nadal found a way to win despite being dominated, extremely nervous and missing regularly.
“I think everybody saw him lose this match,” he said on Instagram.

“He was dominated. He was extremely nervous. He was missing much more than usual.

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“I think everybody will agree that his number one quality is resilience and love for the fight. He loves the fight.

rafael nadal has two personalities

“He loves when it’s tough, when most of the players don’t like those moments. He loves them.
“That’s where he feels alive and himself, and that made his career.

“What we saw from Nadal in [the Australian Open] was one of the worst physical shapes we have seen in the last 20 years.

“I thought that physicality would play a big role in that match, and Rafa had to win the first sets. And actually, the opposite happened.

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“He was playing high, with top-spin, not trying to shorten the rallies, he accepted the rallies and, at the end, it was Daniil who needed a massage, and Rafa not at all.”
The victory means Nadal made the first move in a surreal era which recently saw tennis’ ‘big three’ tied on 20 Grand Slams apiece.

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RAFAEL NADAL

Ominously for Djokovic and Roger Federer, next up is the French Open, a tournament in which Nadal has only lost three matches in his entire career.

Due to the Serb’s Covid complications and Federer’s age, the Aussie Open champ could now be considered to hold the advantage in tennis’ divisive ‘GOAT’ debate.

And the fact that Nadal achieved his latest win despite the three drawbacks highlighted by Mouratoglou may come as a warning to the sport’s new crop of Grand Slam hopefuls, as even a ‘dominant’ Medvedev display fell short of what was required.

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