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Sports Nadal: A lot on his mind at Australia Open, but not No. 20

14:55  21 january  2020
14:55  21 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

Canada earns spot in ATP Cup quarterfinals

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Australian Open 2020 will kick off with a concert raising money for the Red Cross bushfire appeal. Shop the AO 2020 Collection. Designed with the Australian Open fan in mind , this playful range is aimed at everyone no matter what their gender or age group.

Rafael Nadal kicked off his Australian Open campaign in dominant fashion as he thrashed unseeded Bolivian Hugo Dellien in straight sets, then thanked the fans for The Spanish star and No. 1 seed is bidding to capture his 20 th Grand Slam title to draw level with Roger Federer's record, but said that

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal says he's thinking about his next opponent ... and his next practice session ... and trying to recreate the superb tennis he played in his straight-set victory in the Australian Open's first round.

What he insists is not on his mind is the number 20 — as in Roger Federer's record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, which Nadal would equal by claiming the trophy at Melbourne Park.

“I don't care about 20 or 15 or 16. I just care about (trying) to keep going, keep enjoying my tennis career. It's not like 20 is the number that I need to reach. If I reach 20, fantastic,” Nadal said Tuesday, raising his hands in the air. “If I reach 21, better. If I (stay at) 19? Super happy about all the things that I did in my tennis career, no?”

Djokovic leads Serbia to win over Spain in ATP Cup final

  Djokovic leads Serbia to win over Spain in ATP Cup final SYDNEY, Australia — Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal and then went back on court within an hour and won the deciding doubles encounter to secure Serbia's victory over Spain in the inaugural ATP Cup final. Second-ranked Djokivic had a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over No. 1 Nadal on Sunday night to level the final after Roberto Bautista Agut had given Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1 in the first singles match. After extending his lead toSecond-ranked Djokivic had a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over No. 1 Nadal on Sunday night to level the final after Roberto Bautista Agut had given Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1 in the first singles match.

20 Jan - 2 Feb 2020. Rafael Nadal showed just why he’s one of the most ruthless competitors on tour, producing a clinical performance to see off the brave challenge of Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0 in the opening round of the Australian Open on Tuesday afternoon.

Nadal Defeats a Tearful Federer in Australia . But as Nadal began to grasp the degree of Federer’s emotional distress, he added a moment of reflection to his moment of triumph. An article last Monday about Rafael Nadal ’s victory over Roger Federer to win the Australian Open men’s singles tennis title

He must have been pleased with the way his 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 win over Hugo Dellien went.

That was built with a 38-15 edge in winners and breaks in eight of Dellien's 11 service games.

Nadal, at age 33 the oldest No. 1 in ATP history, owns 19 major championships, but only one came in Australia, 11 years ago.

Twelve, of course, were collected at the French Open, four at the U.S. Open and two at Wimbledon.

“I won the U.S. Open a few months ago, and I was super happy in that moment. But today I'm happier than if I didn't win the U.S. Open? Probably not,” Nadal said with a hearty laugh. “The only thing I can do is put all my efforts on (trying) to keep going the best way possible. The rest of the things, the future will see.”

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ANISIMOVA'S RETURN SLAM

Fast-rising American teenager Amanda Anisimova played her first Grand Slam match since her father, who also coached her, died last year.

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[ On his 900th win] I’m just starting. I’m obviously very proud of all the achievements but at the same A lot of people expect Zhang to take this one, but Stephens has started well. She takes the first Jan-Lennard Struff is not quite Nadal , but he is about as tough a first round opponent as a top seed can get.

Armed with a new serving motion, Rafael Nadal is hitting new heights at the Australian Open . "The problem with myself is, because I had a lot of success on clay, people probably think I am not aggressive," Nadal , who reached his 25th grand slam final by crushing upstart Stefanos Tsitsipas

His sudden passing came just before the U.S. Open, so she withdrew from that tournament.

Anisimova reached the semifinals of the French Open in 2019 at age 17, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to get that far at a major. She was ranked 51st at the time and unseeded.

Now 18, she was seeded 21st at Melbourne Park, but was beaten 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 by Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

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CAREER COMEBACK SLAM

Credit Fabio Fognini with a career Grand Slam of comebacks: His 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) rain-interrupted victory across two days against Reilly Opelka of the U.S. gave the 12th-seeded Italian a total of eight wins in matches after dropping the opening two sets.

And now that he's done it at the Australian Open, Fognini has a full collection, with at least one such reversal at each of the four major tournaments. According to the International Tennis Federation, only 11 other men have done it at each Slam, a group that includes Roger Federer, Rod Laver and Boris Becker, but not Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.

A Canadian tennis player called Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer 'a little bit selfish' for not speaking out about the poor air quality at the Australian Open

  A Canadian tennis player called Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer 'a little bit selfish' for not speaking out about the poor air quality at the Australian Open "They're near the end and all they're thinking about is their legacy," Brayden Schnur said of Nadal and Federer. A number of players have suffered problems during qualifying matches at The Open as a direct result of the air quality in Melbourne, which is a result of the ongoing bushfires surrounding the city.

But this Australian Open final was certainly epic entertainment, too. It also lasted five sets and more He underwent intense physical therapy in an attempt to recover the freshness of mind and body "I knew it was not going to affect him a lot ," Federer said of Nadal 's abbreviated preparation. On the next and final point, Federer knocked a forehand long and Nadal dropped immediately on his back.

Nadal led 3-1 after 20 minutes, hardly a startling statistic – except that half of that was taken up in a wonderful struggle Wearing a 109 tattoo – to signify he was the 109th player to play Davis Cup for Australia – De Minaur split his teenage years between his mother’s birthplace in Spain and Australia .

The most famous example of an 0-2 comeback by Fognini came against Nadal at the 2015 U.S. Open. Fognini said he doesn't recall all of his turnaround victories, but he sure does remember that one.

So does Opelka, who rued the fact that play was halted against Fognini because of showers Monday after the initial game of the third set.

Opelka said that Nadal match wasn't really on his mind, but “if anything, it was just more to have me prep to expect (Fognini) to want to win and believe in himself that he can win. Clearly, he did.”

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GULBIS GROUNDS FAA

Felix Auger-Aliassime is considered a future star of men's tennis, a 19-year-old from Canada who was seeded 20th at the Australian Open — and is already out after a first-round loss against Ernests Gulbis, who once was a young up-and-comer himself.

Back when he was in his 20s, Gulbis reached the French Open semifinals and earned a spot in the top 10 of the ATP rankings. A series of injuries waylaid his career, including a back problem in 2019; he entered Tuesday ranked only 256th and needed to go through qualifying just to get into the main draw.

Made the most of it, though, beating Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

“We saw the good Gulbis today,” Auger-Aliassime said.

The 31-year-old Gulbis, who is from Latvia, described himself as “emotional when I was walking back to the locker room, because it's not easy. Its not easy to come back. It's not easy to play Challengers. But these moments are really worth it.”

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press

Nadal meets the 'new Nick' Kyrgios in fourth-round blockbuster .
Nadal meets the 'new Nick' Kyrgios in fourth-round blockbusterNadal has not dropped a set so far as he bids for just his second title at Melbourne Park and was at his ruthless best to dismiss compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta and reach the last 16.

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