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Sport Rafael Nadal can copy Novak Djokovic at Aus Open and do something Roger Federer never has

08:27  27 january  2022
08:27  27 january  2022 Source:   express.co.uk

"sometimes errors occur": Djokovic tents a mini mea culpa

 bad box checked on the visa application, stay in unmarked Spain, meeting with young players and an interview at the team while it is positive , erroneous dates on the results of its PCR tests: Always uncertain for the Australian Open , Novak Djokovic acknowledged on Wednesday that he had committed a series of what he calls "errors" by filling out his form of entry into Australia.

Rafael Nadal is preparing for his seventh career semi-final at the Australian Open this week, having won all of his last five. Matteo Berrettini is the man looking to end Nadal's unbeaten run in the semis with the two doing battle on Friday for a place in Sunday's final.

The Spaniard has a chequered record in the quarter-final stages in Melbourne and has crashed out in the last eight on no less than seven occasions, including in three of the past four years.

He had to survive a scare against Canada's Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday as he squandered a two-set lead before winning the decider 6-3 to progress to the final four.

Novak Djokovic In the Table of the Australian Open but still expelled

 Novak Djokovic In the Table of the Australian Open but still expelled provided not being expelled, Novak Djokovic will be opposed to his Serbian miomir Kecmanovic (78th) compatriot at the 1st round of the Open d'Australia, According to the draw on Thursday with more than one hour late. © Tennis Australia / Scott Barbour / Handout via Reuters Novak Djokovic has been integrated Thursday to the Australian Open Table, but the legal iron arm on its visa continues and the global tennis n.1, No vaccinated, remains under the threat of expulsion.

Once he gets to the semis, Nadal is a far fiercer prospect, though he has regularly failed to make the most of his strong record in the penultimate round.

Nadal has been a four-time losing finalist since beating Roger Federer in the 2009 Australian Open final, losing twice to Novak Djokovic, once to Federer and once to Stan Wawrinka.

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Rafael Nadal can copy Novak Djokovic at Aus Open and do something Roger Federer never has © GETTY Rafael Nadal can copy Novak Djokovic at Aus Open and do something Roger Federer never has

The 20-time Grand Slam champion's two long-time rivals Federer and Djokovic are of course not at Melbourne Park this year, due to injury and being unvaccinated against Covid respectively.

And that means Russia's Daniil Medvedev, the US Open champion, is the favourite to lift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the first time in his career.

Tennis - Djokovic case: Djokovic gets a new stay!

 Tennis - Djokovic case: Djokovic gets a new stay! © Panoramic Novak Djokovic After the Novak Djokovic visa was canceled for the second time, a videoconferencing emergency hearing was convened this Friday in Australia to decide on the world's number 1 lot. At the end of it, it was decided that the Serbian, summoned Saturday morning in the immigration offices, will not be excluded until the procedure is in progress. A new stay for the champion. New stay for Novak Djokovic, which will not be excluded until the procedure is complete.

But Nadal is another strong contender for the title and faces Italy's Berrettini in one semi-final, with Medvedev taking on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the other.

World No 6 Nadal is looking to become the first man ever to win 21 Slams, with both Federer and Djokovic tied with him on 20 at present.

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And if he is able to come out victorious Down Under, Nadal will copy Djokovic by managing a feat that the great Federer has never achieved.

Djokovic is the only one of the trio, and the only man ever, to manage a Double Career Grand Slam. That means to win each of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open more than once.

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  Australian Open predictions: Novak Djokovic to win 10th title? More Emma Raducanu glory? PREDICT how the 2022 Australian Open will unfold in Express Sport's latest tennis poll.Djokovic is joined by Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev as the top contenders in the men's competition.

But Nadal would join the world No 1 were he to win this year's Australian Open, which is the only Slam the 13-time French Open champion has never won multiple times.

It is an achievement that Federer may never replicate given he is now 40 years old.

There are question marks whether he will ever win another major and even if he does, it is unlikely to come at Roland Garros, his least favourite Slam and one where Djokovic and Nadal are still very strong.

Rafael Nadal can copy Novak Djokovic at Aus Open and do something Roger Federer never has © GETTY Rafael Nadal can copy Novak Djokovic at Aus Open and do something Roger Federer never has

Nadal is looking to reclaim his crown as the king of the Paris clay later this year having been defeated in the semi-finals by Djokovic last season.

Before then, Nadal's focus remains on the Australian Open and the challenge ahead against Berrettini.

The two have only ever gone head-to-head once before, in the semi-finals of the US Open back in 2019 when the Spaniard was a straight-sets winner.

Speaking of the threat his opponent poses, Nadal said: "Matteo, he's one of the best players of the world since a while already. He's very solid.

"I need to play my 100 per cent and my highest level if I want to keep having chances to fight, to be competitive, and to try to be in the final."

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For now, tennis is taking centre stage in glorious fashion.

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