Nadal Australian Open 2021

‘I need to improve,’ says below par Rafael Nadal after third round win


Rafael Nadal admitted he needs to improve and criticised himself for failing to convert several of his opportunities against Cameron Norrie. 

The Spaniard converted just 5 of his 12 break point chances in his third round clash against the British No 3, whose promising run in Melbourne was put to a halt by the second seed on Rod Laver Arena.

Despite being far from his flying best, Nadal’s bid to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam gained momentum with a 7-5 6-2 7-5 victory.

Rafael Nadal now takes his unbeaten run against left-handed players to 16 matches, having not lost to a left-handed player since falling to Denis Shapovalov at the 2017 Montreal Masters.

Nadal said: “I didn’t convert chances I had early in the sets, so the situation became a little bit more difficult.

“Of course, playing against the best players in the world, not taking your chances, you’re going to suffer a bit. Very happy, good feelings and I need to keep improving. I’m in the second week and that’s the main thing for me right now.”

After closing out victory, Nadal was already focused on his next opponent, eyeing the scoreboard to discover that Fabio Fognini had defeated home favourite Alex De Minaur in straight sets 6-4 6-3 6-4.

“We’ve played a lot of times and he’s beaten me a couple of times. He’s come here after an injury, so he will be hungry to do well,” stated 2009 champion.

“That’s a very impressive victory against de Minaur, in straight sets. So he will come to our match with plenty of confidence, and of course you never expect an easy match at this stage. I need to be ready.”

Nadal Australian Open 2021
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