Defending Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal is confident of his title defence in Melbourne, saying "I am in good shape" despite back-to-back losses in the United Cup in Sydney. Nadal had a brilliant start to the 2022 season that saw him win four titles including the Australian Open and French Open - but the abdominal injury ruined his latter half of the season. Even the Spaniard did not get the start he wanted in the 2023 season as he lost both his singles rubbers at the United Cup. Nadal will begin his title defence at the Rod Laver arena as a the number 1 seed.
Nadal looking past poor form ahead of seasons first slam
"It's true that the last couple of tournaments I wasn't able to play to my standards and here at the beginning of the season I lost two matches in Sydney, but honestly, I am not unhappy with the preparation," new.com.au quoted Nadal.
"I need to win matches for sure. But the preparation is going quite well, practising a lot and I think I am in good shape. Then you need to demonstrate that in the matches, in the official tournaments.
"But I'm confident that if I am able to have this last week of positive practices, why not?" he said.
Ahead of the main round of the season's first Grand Slam, starting from January 16, the 22-time Grand Slam champion is slated to take on Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in a charity match at Rod Laver Arena on Friday.
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