19 Th1 2022 | 09:34 | Football
Rafael Nadal won 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 against Yannick Hanfmann in the second round of the Australian Open at noon on January 19 (Hanoi time).
6th seed Rafael Nadal needed a 5th match-point to finish the match against Yannick Hanfmann in 2 hours 42 minutes. The German tennis player, ranked 126 in the world, had to compete in qualifying, causing more or less difficulties for Nadal with prolonged games.
“I know Yannick is very dangerous, when I played against him at Roland Garros. Winning Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round showed that he is playing great. He has powerful shots, good serve. Now, Hanfmann’s form is much higher than the ranking,” Nadal praised the opponent after the match.
Hanfmann used strong strokes, cutting across the court and into the net to make it difficult for Nadal. However, the Spaniard counter-attacked by using heavy shots to the two corners, forcing the opponent to move further away from the bottom line. Nadal also forced Hanfmann to move a lot, succeeding with serve and then needing one more racket touch to score.
Nadal successfully saved both breaks in this match and had a total of 4 times to break the opponent’s game. However, the Spaniard missed many opportunities, when the break-point utilization rate was only 25% (4/16).
In the third round, Nadal will meet the winner of the match between Karen Khachanov and Benjamin Bonzi. ATP said that Nadal needs to improve his break rate, in addition to making fewer forehand errors. This match, he made 26 self-defeating errors and had 30 winners.
Nadal is winning all 5 matches since the beginning of the season, including winning the Melbourne Summer Set to get the 89th title in his career. However, he has yet to meet any opponent in the top 50. The match in the third round will be a test of Nadal’s return, after taking a break from mid-August 2021.
Nadal is aiming for the Australian Open title, becoming only the second player in the Open Era (since 1968) after Novak Djokovic to win at least twice in all four Grand Slams. More importantly, he will have his 21st Grand Slam, to get ahead of the title race with Roger Federer and Djokovic.
Last year, Nadal reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park, losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets after leading 2-0. That was only the second time in his career Nadal received a 3-2 reverse defeat when leading the first two sets, after losing to Fabio Fognini at the 2015 US Open.
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