Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2022

Rafael Nadal will be ‘so hard to beat’ at Australian Open, says expert

Rafael Nadal is going to be ‘so hard to beat’ at the Australian Open, says Eurosport expert and former WTA star Barbara Schett.

Nadal is the defending champion having produced a stunning performance to win the title in 2022 which included coming back from two sets down in the final to beat Daniil Medvedev.

He will start this year’s tournament with question marks over his form and fitness, and certainly second favourite to Novak Djokovic.

However, Schett believes that if anyone is going to stop Novak Djokovic then it will be Rafael Nadal, and no one should be writing off the Spaniard.

Speaking exclusively to Tennishead ahead of the Australian Open, which is live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport, Schett said: “You never know with Rafa, every time we write him off he bounces back.

“We know he hasn’t played a lot since the US Open last year, he has had a few defeats as well you know at the United Cup in Sydney.

“Everybody wonders if he is rusty, a lot happened with the birth of his son as well. But, when he’s there at the Grand Slam events it is so hard to beat him, because he is so determined, he is so focussed, and he has so much experience in playing in five setters that he is always dangerous.”

Nadal heads into the Australian Open in uncharacteristically poor form having lost six of his last seven matches on the ATP Tour. He will face Jack Draper in the first round in Melbourne.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.