Looking for 21st Grand slam title, No.2 seed Rafael Nadal has now stepped into the second week of the Australian Open 2021 with his third straight-set consecutive victory.
On Saturday, the 34-years-old Spaniard defeated Brit Cameron Norrie without dropping a set(7-5, 6-2, 7-5) for a pre-quarterfinal place at the 2021 season’s first Grand Slam.
While it was the 68th win at the Melbourne major event, Rafael Nadal admits that it has been a significant victory in the post-match interview.
“Getting Better Each Day”, Nadal on His Back
The 20-time major title winner skipped his playing duties of the ATP Cup due to health issues last week. Since then, Nadal gave an essential update over stiffness in his back.
“The back (had not been) getting better each day—(It was)getting better today. Today is better. [It is the] the first day I [have] felt an improvement, and that’s the most important thing for me today, more than any other thing,” Spanish Legend added.
Nadal also emphasised that he was not serving his exceptional service for the past 15 days and today is the first day that he started to service again with his regular service.
Rafa continued, “Yesterday, I didn’t practise. Today, (I was) just warming up with the normal movement. I didn’t serve bad, but I can do better. I’m looking forward to doing it better. (It) has been an important victory for me. The biggest victory is the back is better for the first day. That’s the most important thing.”
“Fabio Fognini Is One Of The Most Talented Players on ATP Tour”, says Rafael Nadal
For a quarterfinal place at this year’s Aussie Open, Rafael Nadal set up a blockbuster Fabio Fognini clash. It will be the 17th meeting between Spaniard and Italian in the ATP Tour.
Ahead of the fourth round, Nadal said of Fognini, “He’s one of the most talented players on Tour with a lot of amazing things. When he’s playing well, he’s one of Tour’s most dangerous opponents without a doubt.“
In the third round, the World No.17 Fognini overcame the crowd favourite and No.21 seed Alex de Minaur in the straight sets(6-4, 6-3, 6-4).
Rafael Nadal additionally explained, “He had a fantastic victory against a great opponent (in De Minaur), so (it) will be a very tough match. I hope to be ready for it.”
However, the 2009 Australian Open champion leads the 16th seed in their head-to-head record 12-4. Will we see who adds one more point in the account at the end of the battle?