Nadal wins time

His tennis adapted to pain was enough to defeat Djere with solvency, but it will not serve him to aspire to his 21st Grand Slam and tiebreaker with Federer.


Rafa Nadal wins time. That was his goal and that's how he made his debut at the Australian Open. He had already explained it on Sunday in his previous press conference, the same day that he revealed in more detail the two-week ordeal that he is dragging due to a painful contracture in his back. "What I have to do is give myself options to compete, pass the first round and win days to try to be better," said the Spaniard. And with that goal he stood before Laslo Djere, number 56 in the world, in his feared ocean premiere. The exam was passed with a note, as the result indicates: 6-3, 6-4 and 6-1, in 1 hour and 52 minutes. In fact, if someone saw this marker without previously knowing the physical problems of the Spanish, everything would seem in order. The classic first round match in a big one, we would think. But this was not the case.

To combat the pain, to which Rafa, unfortunately, is so accustomed during his eventful career, he has had to change his serve, the stroke with which he is most painful and the one that costs him the most to execute. He also used a more direct and flatter game than usual. "Saco worse," admitted Nadal, while admitting that he felt more comfortable to the rest. This adaptation of his tennis to the circumstances was enough to be able to defeat Djere with solvency, but it will surely not serve him to aspire to his 21st Grand Slam, that divine challenge that would make him tiebreaker with Roger Federer in history. The rivals and difficulties will grow as the days go by. So the only lifeline is for your physical limitations to also decrease in reverse. Nadal played a survival game, that's the reality. As he recognized, microphone in hand, as soon as the shock ended: "Today it was about surviving." And there it continues. Lively. First objective accomplished.

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