For all the tennis fans fretting over the participation of Rafael Nadal in the upcoming Australian Open, there is finally a piece of good news to share.
Rafael Nadal looked at ease knocking tennis balls with Norwegian Casper Ruud
The superstar Spaniard was videoed knocking tennis balls on a practice court ahead of his first-round tie at the year’s first Major and seemed completely at ease while at it.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of his country’s campaign at the ATP Cup, citing back spasms.
His withdrawal led to frenzied speculations on whether he would be fit and ready in time for his opener at Melbourne Park. However, if the videos on Twitter are any indication, the Spaniard simply can’t wait to get out there.
In the practice videos with Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud, Nadal looks to be moving well into positions to fire his trademark groundstrokes.
He looks in no apparent discomfort as he shapes up to play his signature forehands and backhands and is even seen moving closer to practice volleys.
The Spaniard is also seen smiling as he goes about his practice routine, which further suggests that he isn’t weighed down by fitness worries and is, instead, in a cheerful space mentally, going into the year’s first Grand Slam.
When Nadal rued his missed chances at Australian Open
Nadal is bidding for his second Australian Open title since the epic win over old foe Roger Federer in the title clash in 2009. He will take on unheralded Serbian Laslo Dere in his opening-round fixture on Tuesday.
In a pre-tournament interview on Sunday, the Spaniard, who is currently level with Federer for the most number of Grand Slam titles in the men’s game, rued the missed chances that he had to lift his second Australian Open crown.
He cited the 2014 edition of the tournament where he had reached the final, only to go down eventually to Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
The Spaniard revealed that he’d suffered a back injury during the title showdown, which all but blew his chance of landing the second crown at Melbourne.
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He also looked back at 2012 and 2017 when he fell at the business-end of the tournament.