Rafael Nadal struggles to pinpoint Australian Open issue after 11-year title drought

Rafael Nadal is not sure why he has not been able to win the Australian Open since 2009. Only one of the Spaniard’s 19 Grand Slam titles have been secured in Melbourne.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have dominated the first Grand Slam of the season over recent years.

And world No 2 Djokovic is the heavy favourite to defend his crown again this season.

However, Nadal got off to the perfect start this morning as he thrashed Bolivian Hugo Dellien in straight sets to send a message to his rivals.

The 33-year-old was then asked why he has not been able to lift the Australian Open trophy more than once.

“I don’t know,” Nadal replied. “I have been break up twice in the fifth set and I lost.

“Another time I have been injured in a final, of course, against a great opponent.

“At that time against an opponent that in that moment I have been, like, 14-0 against him on the head-to-head record. I had a problem on my luck in the final.

“Then other times, like 2018, I get injured against Cilic. I went through a couple of things, more than in New York honestly. But I don’t know. Maybe the conditions are better for me in New York than here. That’s the only reason that I can find.”

Nadal was heavily beaten by Djokovic in the Australian Open final last year.


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And the 12-time French Open champion believes he is in a different position 12 months on.

“From last year to this year is difficult because I even don’t recognise last year or this year,” he explained.

“I have been just a straight season, no? I did some treatment at the end of the season, stay four days at home, and work again.

“I was not able to see a very significant thing. Sometimes, you know, like before 2017 season I had three months or two months and a half to work because I didn’t play after Shanghai or something like this anymore, no? I have plenty of time.

“When you have two months and a half or three to work on specific things, then you can expect new things or you can expect some improvements.

“In terms of this year, the only thing that you can expect is try to work on the things that you need to work on competition.

“That’s a little bit more difficult to see a significant improvements.

“But let’s see. I hope to have some chances to work in specific things between Acapulco and Indian Wells. I’m going to have almost two weeks, so let’s see.”

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