ANKARA – Rafael Nadal won the battle of the southpaws against Jack Draper in the Australian Open 2023 men’s singles Round 1 game on Monday.
The top seed eliminated the young Brit with set scores of 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, and 6-1 after a more than three-hour-long match.
“I’m super happy to be back here in Australia one more time,” the Spaniard said.
“I don’t know. It’s like my 19th season on the professional tour. I’m very excited about this new beginning… The last couple of months haven’t been easy for me, but hopefully, this victory will help me.”
Draper, 21, said, “(It was a) real honor to play against him, someone I’ve idolized growing up, to go toe-to-toe with him on a big court like that is special.”
The reigning men’s singles champion Nadal is a 22 Grand Slam men’s singles title winner.
The 36-year-old Spanish legend bagged the Australian Open twice, in 2009 and 2022. (Anadolu)