Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Rafael Nadal Roadshow continues

The Rafa Slam Roadshow rolled on today as he gave the second of hopefully seven performances at the last stop on the tour - Melbourne.

For Nadal fans, and the man himself, today's performance was a better all-round effort compared to his win over Marcos Daniel who retired injured trailing the world No.1 6-0 5-0. Nadal's opponent today, 23-year-old American qualifier Ryan Sweeting came into the match with a full bill of health but walked off with a slightly bruised ego following the 6-2 6-1 6-1 drubbing he received.

As for Nadal who entered the event feeling a little under the weather, he says the illness has passed and he's improving with each day.

"I had a difficult week last week in Doha, it seems like every day is a little bit better, I don't have nothing, I hopefully [am] totally recovered.

Today's match didn't start at all well for the American, who has only made it to the second round of a Grand Slam once previously - at US Open 2006. Sweeting double faulted on the opening point and again during the game to drop his serve as big-match nerves took hold of the challenger.

Nadal took the advantage and ran. He closed out the first set 6-2 in just 28 minutes, breaking Sweeting once more in the seventh game.

Any hopes of a more promising start to the second set for Sweeting were tossed out the open Rod Laver Arena roof when Nadal broke the American for the third time. The Spaniard raced to a 4-0 lead before Sweeting finally holds serve - but it's the only game he'll win for the set.

In the final set Sweeting put together some nice points, but the match was already lost. Breaks in the second, fourth and sixth games for Nadal were the story, but although Sweeting got one break back on Nadal in the fifth game, it was too little too late for the world No.116.

At this stage, it's hard to spot a weakness in Nadal's on-court game, a point that Sweeting agreed with.

"He's too good to just give unforced errors. You're not going to win the match by his mistakes; you're going to have to execute. So the only advice I could give, you know, a younger player going out to play him on that big stage is to, you know, go for your shots. That's all you can do. You have to go for it. Even top 10 players, they have to go for it or they're not going to beat him."

Take note, Bernard Tomic.

Courtesy: Official website

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