January 16, (THEWILL) – Australian Open defending champion Rafael Nadal has advanced to the second round of the tournament after defeating British player Jack Draper in four sets.
The match was a closely contested one in the early exchanges, with Draper’s powerful serve and forehand giving Nadal some trouble. However, as the match progressed, Draper appeared to be overcome by injury and Nadal was able to secure the win.
The first set was a tight battle, with Draper recovering well from a breakpoint at 4-3 down to hold his serve. At 5-5, Nadal was taken to deuce but ultimately won the set when Draper hit a forehand into the tramlines. The Brit refused to let this setback affect him and came out strong in the second set, breaking Nadal in the first game and soon taking a double-break lead.
However, Nadal was able to break back and level the set at 4-4. The third set was also closely contested, with Draper breaking Nadal at the start of the set, but Nadal stepped up and won the next six games in a row.
In the end, Nadal’s experience and ability to capitalise on Draper’s mistakes proved to be the difference in the match. Nadal will now face American player Mackenzie Mcdonald in the next round, who defeated fellow American Brandon Nakashima in a gruelling five-set epic.