World No.1 Rafael Nadal made a shaky start at the Kooyong Classic facing defeat at the hands of Richard Gasquet with a 6-4, 7-5 score. However, despite losing his first match of the year, Nadal expressed pleasure on facing no issues with his knee.
Nadal’s recurring knee pains forced him to withdraw from Brisbane International and proved to be an obstruction to the ending of his season in 2017. Rafa is also expected to play a match for a Tie Break Tens tournament in Melbourne Park on the 10th of January.
His opponent, on the other hand, had been forced out of Kooyong because of physical ailments but was obviously happy to have beaten the Spaniard even if informally. Nadal historically has beaten the Frenchman 15 times to none on the ATP tour.
The first set saw a rusty Nadal with Gasquet who relied on a solo break at 5-4 and took it. The second set started with Gasquet leading 3-0. The Spaniard came back with full force and equalled the score at 3-3. But Gasquet eventually won with a smash winner.
In the women’s game, German Andrea Petkovic beat Aussie Destenee Aiava 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 despite the strong winds.
Sources – The Guardian, New Indian Express