Rafael Nadal Rock Solid In 2017 Opener In Brisbane; World No. 1 Angelique Kerber Debuts Wednesday
by Staff | January 3rd, 2017, 2:29 pm
  • 15 Comments

Rafael Nadal officially opened his 2017 season on a positive note besting Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-3 Tuesday night in Brisbane.

“I was very happy with that start,” said Nadal who came in off an Abu Dhabi exo win Saturday. “Winning against (Dolgopolov) is never easy.

“I said yesterday it was an important match for me. It was an important match for me and not much time to adjust the game and to adapt myself to the conditions, so it was great that I was able to play late. I think that helps.

“In terms of the jet lag, helps for me this week if I play later. I think I played a solid match with not many mistakes. That makes me feel good and happy for the victory, obviously.”

Next for Nadal is Mischa Zverev on Thursday. And Rafa could meet Milos Raonic in the round after.

“He’s an offensive player with a great serve, good volley,” said of the German. “It will be important to be very focused with my serve, when I’m serving, try to be very… aggressive. I cannot let him play comfortably, because if not, I will be in trouble because he goes to the net frequently.”

Rafa, though, still hasn’t adjusted to the time zone, and he would prefer to play Zverev later in the day.

“Depends how I adapt to the jet lag, because playing early,” he said of the match time for the next match. “For example, today, at 2:00 in the afternoon I was on the bed. I was destroyed. I’m not sure if it’s better play earlier or not. I think for the moment I think it’s better for me to play later.”

With the Australian Open looming, Nadal offered his thoughts on winning another Slam.

“The only thing I can say is if I am healthy, I believe that I can do it,” Nadal said Monday. “If not, I will be at home fishing.”

Two-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Lucas Pouille was also a winner beating countryman Gilles Simon.

Tomorrow, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori are in action along with World No. 1 Angelique Kerber headlining the women’s field as she opens her 2017 season.

“I’m really not thinking about defending points or pressure, whatever,” Kerber said Monday. “I was, like, really happy to be back in Australia, like, the trip was really long again. It’s always nice to be being back here.

“Everything starts here last year for me. Everything, actually. This is my only feeling I have now to being back here and trying to get used very fast to everything: the jet lag, the weather conditions, and just playing like I always playing, game after game. Yeah, of course to play my best again here.”

WEDNESDAY BRISBANE SCHEDULE
PAT RAFTER ARENA start 11:00 am
WTA – S. Zhang (CHN) vs [2] D. Cibulkova (SVK)
ATP – [Q] J. Donaldson (USA) vs [3] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [8] D. Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] J. Thompson (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – V. Troicki (SRB) vs [2] S. Wawrinka (SUI)

Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [1] A. Kerber (GER) vs [WC] A. Barty (AUS)


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15 Comments for Rafael Nadal Rock Solid In 2017 Opener In Brisbane; World No. 1 Angelique Kerber Debuts Wednesday

J-Kath Says:

Roger, the Fed. – seems to be having a tough time vs AZ – at Hopman. RF dropped his serve 4 times in 1st round tiebreak.


Van Persie Says:

A new king was born today: Golden Boy Sascha Zverev. He beat Class and Leadersheep.

Well done, Sascha!


J-Kath Says:

Yes, VP – the steadiness is noteworthy on its own – especially for one so young. He will need watching from now on.


J.S. Says:

Agree VP (Hi J-Kath)….Rafa had a difficult time against him at Indian Wells last yr, 2016, although Rafa won….I remember it well it was a battle!!
Nice kid, right? He had a ton of personality today vs. Federer.

Glad to see Federer and Nadal back on the court though, They sure are loved by the fans!!!


Van Persie Says:

JK,

I exaggerated a bit with my above comment ;)
Did not see the match, only the scores….Zverev was beaten in 2 sets by Gasquet. Perhaps he was good today, but also think Roger is not in his best shape.
I am pleased that Sascha did not choke today.


Van Persie Says:

Sascha would convince me, that he is really a “tough cookie”, if he would beat Andy and Nole. After watching Andy yesterday, it was really clear for me, that he is the man to beat these days.


Margot Says:

Van P: Fed looked slow to me, therefore his timing on the ball was off. Now whether that’s because he’s had 6 months out of tennis or whether it’s age catching up, only time will tell.
Sascha is so talented tho. Moves so well for such a tall bloke and has great skills at the net.
Give him a couple of years….after Andy has retired..;) And wow!
At last I think we really are seeing the rise of another very talented generation.
Now I can’t wait to see Naughty Nick play Sascha.


Van Persie Says:

Haha Margot,

Who has to wait for Andy to retire? Fed or Sascha, or both? :)


Van Persie Says:

And Margot,

Thanks for the info. I thought, that Fed was not at his best. Time will tell, what the reason was.


Margot Says:

VP……probably…..Sascha….;)


SG1 Says:

Rafa’s the wildcard in 2017. I think even more so than Federer. If he’s healthy and his mind is right, he will be a factor at the majors. If he’s not and goes through another season like the last couple, I think this will be his last year on tour.


J-Kath Says:

SG1:

I’m convinced Rafa will be a factor at majors – he still has the ability to play tough. Federer? He’s looking much older than 35 – but that’s just my opinion.


sinha71 Says:

Just because Fed has been following Djoko in the rankings, and slams for many years now and losing head to head watching Djoko get the grand slam, that is no reason to call him leadersheep!


J-Kath Says:

sinha71

leadersheep? What does that mean?


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