Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal had to battle for two hours and 50 minutes to carve out a hard-fought 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Karen Khachanov and enter the fourth round of the men’s singles competition at the Australian Open 2022
The 20-time grand slam champion Nadal started off on a confident note at the historic Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Nadal not only held his serve but broke his opponent Karen Khachanov’s serve in the second game of the match to take a 3-0 lead.
The 2009 Australian Open champion won the opening set 6-3. In the second set too Nadal broke his opponent’s serve in the very first game fighting his way as there were seven deuce in the game which the Spaniard finally won. Nadal broke him again in the fifth game and pocketed the second set 6-2.
Rafael Nadal:Just when it seemed that Nadal will take the match away
in straight sets the Russian clawed his way back breaking the Spaniard in the fourth game of the third set to take a crucial 3-1 lead. Both the players held their serves from there as the third set ended 6-3 in Karen Khachanov’s favour.
Karen Khachanov’s comeback in the match came in as a ray of hope for the Russian but his effectiveness did not last long as in the fourth set sixth seed Nadal held his serve and broke him in the next one to race to a 3-0 lead.
Nadal, who has reached the last-16 in Melbourne for the 15th time in 17 appearances, will face another Russian, 18th seed Aslan Karatsev, or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino next.
I played a great player tonight and happy that this was my best match since coming back the 35-year-old Nadal, who missed the second half of 2021 with a foot injury said on court.
I ve been going through some tough times in the last year but night’s like tonight mean everything.