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Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek face powerful however very completely different early checks as the boys’s and girls’s high seeds respectively head into day-one Australian Open motion in Melbourne.

Winless in two matches on the season-opening United Cup in Sydney, Nadal is not going to have the posh of creating his Open title protection simpler in opposition to rising British star Jack Draper.

Draper, in his profession thirty eighth on the planet after an unimaginable begin to the summer time, is among the most harmful unseeded gamers within the draw, in addition to high 10 heavyweights Stefanos Tsitsipas, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Taylor Fritz. nicely after succumbing to the 21-year-old final season.

Rafael Nadal practices at Melbourne Park on Sunday.

“In all probability probably the most troublesome first rounds, being a seed. Younger, robust, rising loads, very quick within the rating, taking part in nicely,” mentioned Nadal about his challenger.

“It is a massive problem for me in the beginning of the event. We’ll see. I am right here simply to offer myself an opportunity.”

Having gained simply as soon as up to now six matches, the good Spanish participant needed to get away of a rut that might clarify why probably the most prolific main champion in males’s tennis stunned viewers when he threw his racquet, probably the most in contrast to Nadal, to the court docket in frustration on a regular basis. observe on Friday.

Nadal’s 2022 remaining opponent Daniil Medvedev is one other massive title in motion on Monday. Seeded seventh, the Russian is projected to face Nadal within the quarterfinals.

Jason Kubler, John Millman and Rinky Hijikata are the one Australian males taking part in on Monday, with seeded massive weapons Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur beginning on Tuesday.

Swiatek, the reigning French and US Open champion and bidding for the third leg of a profession grand slam, launched his title quest in opposition to Germany’s Jule Niemeier.

The Polish world No.1 knocked off 68th-ranked Niemeier from the US Open in September of their solely earlier assembly.

However after withdrawing from Adelaide Worldwide 2 with a shoulder downside, and being overwhelmed by world No.3 Jessica Pegula in her newest match on the United Cup, Swiatek’s health might be below the microscope on Rod Laver Enviornment on Monday night time.

You’ll be able to learn our interview with Swiatek earlier than Christmas right here.

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