It was reported Thursday afternoon at Melbourne Park that Rafael Nadal will have a challenging opening matchup at the Australian Open against British left-hander Jack Draper. While Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios are in the same section of the draw.
In his opening encounter against Draper, an opponent for the 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals, the defending champion Rafael Nadal will need to be on his game. The 21-year-old has had a strong start to the season and has two wins inside the Top 10. On Friday, the Adelaide International 2 semifinals will feature the World No. 40.
“It’ll be amazing to play on court with him, he’s a great champion. [There are] a lot of emotions obviously when I think of playing him, but that’s one thing, I’ve still got to go and play tomorrow and hopefully do well in this tournament first. Whatever happens, it’ll be a special occasion for me, still very young in my career, so it’s great to have these sort of experiences and exposure to playing someone like Rafa on a big court like that. But I want to play really well and I want to compete hard and do the best I can.”
If the 22-time major champion Nadal advances over the British player. The second-round opponent will either be Mackenzie McDonald or Brandon Nakashima, the current Next Gen ATP Finals champion.
Seventh seed Daniil Medvedev is also in the Spaniard’s section. Therefore a repetition of their 2022 Australian Open championship match may occur in the round of eight. The lefty could face Frances Tiafoe, the 16th seed, in the fourth round. Tiafoe defeated Rafael Nadal at the US Open last year. Also Read: Carlos Alcaraz, Iga Swiatek excel in the new tennis era as Roger Federer, Serena Williams retire
Matteo Berrettini and Murray’s fixture: Another clash fans looking forward to
Medvedev, who has advanced to back-to-back Happy Slam finals, will face American Marcos Giron in the first round and might face Adelaide International 1 finalist Sebastian Korda in the third round.
Nine-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic and Australian Nick Kyrgios were drawn together in the bottom half of the draw. Before facing Djokovic in the quarterfinals, the 19th-seeded Kyrgios may face ninth-seeded Holger Rune in the third round and fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev in the fourth round. Djokovic will begin his quest for a record-tying 22nd major title against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.
The first-round matchup between Rublev and his close buddy, former World No. 3 and finalist at the 2020 Australian Open Dominic Thiem, will be a major event. The 13th seed Matteo Berrettini will face former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the opening round. At Flushing Meadows in 2022, Berrettini upset Murray in four sets, and he now has a 3-1 advantage in their ATP Head2Head matchup.
The victor will compete either Thanasi Kokkinakis, a local favourite, or Italian shotmaker Fabio Fognini. Second seed Casper Ruud, who reached his first two major finals last season, will face Czech Tomas Machac in the opening round. Other tough opponents in his quarter include eighth seed Taylor Fritz, 12th seed Alexander Zverev, Berrettini, and Murray.
No. 6 seed At the end of 2022, Felix Auger-Aliassime displayed his best tennis to date. The Canadian will attempt to maintain this level against Vasek Pospisil in the opening round. In the second round, the victor can face Stan Wawrinka, the Australian Open champion from 2014.
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