World No. 2 Rafael Nadal hit his rivals with a scary admission on the eve of the quarter-finals, declaring the form he showed in today’s opening set was the best of his Australian Open campaign so far. day.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has entered the last eight in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini at Rod Laver Arena.
The straight-set victory means Nadal has yet to lose a set at this year’s Australian Open, having passed Laslo Dere, Michael Mmoh, Cameron Norrie and Fognini.
But despite the fact that the Spanish star has played exceptional tennis throughout his campaign, the 34-year-old was able to separate today’s opening set from the rest.
Australian Open: Rafael Nadal against Fabio Fognini
He added that his back injury, which had hampered him since arriving in Australia, was starting to improve.
“The first set I played was without a doubt my best level in the tournament,” Nadal said in his post-match conference.
“I was able to train two days in a row. It makes a big difference.
“But at the same time, yes, it’s important to find positive feelings now. My physical condition needs to keep improving.
“But I think this game helps too. I haven’t been able to train properly for the last 19 days, but yesterday I started to increase the amount of work on the practice, and today was a positive victory with long points, so that helps for the next game. “
Nadal said during his interview on the pitch that his back has improved.
“I’m glad my back is holding up better,” Nadal said on the cover of Nine.
“Tomorrow will again be an important day of practice.
“I hope I can build well and let’s see if I can play a good game.”
Nadal is set to play his 13th Australian Open quarter-final and his 43rd round of 32 in a Grand Slam.
He will face world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semi-finals after Italy’s Matteo Berrettini has withdrawn from tonight’s clash with Greek star due to injury.
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