While getting in tune under the Australian sun, with progressive sessions to reactivate the mechanisms after more than three months without officially competing, Rafael Nadal He knew the layout that awaits him in the next edition of the Australian Open, which starts next Monday. While the number two works hard, the bombo wanted to lend a hand and gave a rather nice start to the number two in the world, which has not played since last September 7 (New York semifinals against Del Potro) and resigned. week to the tournament in Brisbane for some discomfort in the left thigh.
Starting, Nadal will debut against the local James Duckworth, who currently occupies the 238 and before which he has never faced. Next, the path proposes another favorable duel to continue picking up pace, against Jan Lennard Struff or the Australian Matthew Ebden, and then another more demanding (but a priori affordable) against the promising Alex de Miñaur, a tennis player who at 19 years offers very good manners – it is number 29 of the ATP – and which he already defeated in the third round of the last edition of Wimbledon.
So far, land to buy time and sensations, and then the inclination comes. In hypothetical eighths he would run into the British Kyle Edmund, finalist last year in Melbourne, or the Argentine Diego Schwartzman, a small bone that knows how few how to play Nadal. Then the gradient began to grow progressively, with a crossover against Kevin Anderson or Grigor Dimitrov in the quarters; the penultimate rung of the tournament, against Roger Federer or Marin Cilic; and the hardest ramp with the name of Novak Djokovic, number one and now maximum favorite.
The Serbian, for the other quadrant, he had a debut against a tennis player from the previous phase and a relatively comfortable progress to the final straight, where he could run into Alexander Zverev before a hypothetical clash with Nadal or Federer. The Swiss, meanwhile, will have to travel on the thorny path. In the horizon of the last champion appear threats as Denis Istomin, Gael Monfils, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Cilic or Karen Khachanov before the melee with the heavyweights. Among them no longer Andy Murray, in the doldrums, but a big obstacle in the first round of Roberto Bautista, recent winner of Doha.
In the feminine picture, Garbiñe Muguruza did not have a fortune a priori. The Venezuelan-Hispanic, 18 in the world, will open on Tuesday against the Chinese Saisai Zheng (39) and shares route with the number one, Simona Halep, and the American Serena Williams; also with the Czech Karolina Pliskova, directed by the Spanish Conchita Martínez, and the dangerous Daria Kasatkina in the third round. In 2018, Muguruza yielded in the second season and Carla Suárez was the representative that went farthest: quarters. The Canary Islands will premiere this year against the guest Clara Burel.
Rafael Nadal-James Duckworth.
Roberto Bautista-Andy Murray.
Feliciano López-Jordan Thompson.
Pablo Andújar-Denis Shapovalov.
Guillermo García-López-Robin Haase.
Albert Ramos-Marton Fucsovics.
Marcel Granollers-Marius Copil.
Jaume Munar-Fabio Fognini.
Fernando Verdasco- (previous phase).
Pablo Carreño- (previous phase).
Roberto Carballés- (previous phase).
Garbiñe Muguruza-Saisai Zheng.
Carla Suárez-Clara Burel.
Lara Arruabarrena-Alizé Cornet.
Sara Sorribes-Anett Kontaveit.