Rafael Nadal practises with ATP star to ramp up Australian Open preparation
Rafael Nadal took to hitting with world number 13 Diego Schwartzman as he prepares to make his 17th Australian Open appearance.
The world number six started his 2022 season in style by defeating Maxime Cressy in the final of the ATP Melbourne Summer Set for his 89th career title.
The feat also means that Nadal has won at least one title every year for 19 seasons, beginning with his maiden title in Sopot, Poland in 2004.
Staying in Melbourne, Nadal is training this week in anticipation of the Australian Open, which begins on 17th January.
“Practice earlier today with Diego Schwartzman and his team,” Nadal posted to his Instagram story during early afternoon local time.
“Thanks for that moment. Gracias Peque!” Schwartzman sometimes goes by the nickname “El Peque”, translating to “The Kid.”
The 20-time slam champion also shared pictures from a session he had with some young fans and players at Melbourne Park.
“Nice to have had the chance to spend some time with kids competing at the Rafa Nadal Tour here in Australia,” he captioned the photo.
“Interesting questions at this special meet and greet.”
Along with nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, Nadal is in with a chance of moving ahead in the race for the most men’s Slam titles if he wins the Australian Open for a 21st Major title.
However, Melbourne is historically Nadal’s toughest slam venue, having won the event just once in 2009, since losing four finals in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2019.
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