Opening at the Australian Open, close match against a young rival and suddenly your racket disappears. The Spanish Rafael Nadal lived a curious moment on Monday at his premiere in the first Grand Slam of 2023.
The incident occurred in the middle of the first set against the british Jack Draper. With 4-3 favorable on the scoreboard, nadal was preparing to return to the track after the break, but the racket had disappeared from its place.
With his rival already at the bottom of the track waiting to serve, Nadal searched the bench among his material and explained himself to the chair umpire.
“I need my racket back“He said with a puzzled face, also trying to explain with gestures the place where the racket had disappeared from.
“The ballboy took my racket” 🤣
Rafa Nadal wanted to have one of his rackets stringed during the match but they took the one he was using to play with!
The moment of day 1pic.twitter.com/Y806dhIrdA
— Tennis Time (@TennisTime1) January 16, 2023
Taking a spare racket from his bag, Nadal returned to the center of Rod Laver Arena and apologized to Draper: “The ball boy took my racket!“He yelled at her with a incredulous smile.
After claiming a laborious 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory, Nadal explained the “fun” situation in statements to the chain Eurosport.
“It wasn’t a distraction, just a fun situation.said the 22-time Grand Slam champion.
— Eurosport.es (@Eurosport_ES) January 16, 2023
“I said ‘I need the stringer,’ but I needed the stringer to look at the other rackets,” he explained.
“But he took the racket that he was prepared to play with. It’s fine, he took it and there is no problem, ”he added.
The Spanish champion also spoke to the press about the sensations in the first Grand Slam after the birth in October of his first son and about the new and “beautiful” stage of your life with your partner Mery Perello. Both were in the stands of the Rod Laver Arena this Monday.
Nadal explained that the fact of being a father does not give him an extra motivation point in the competition.
“I have always been excited enough to play every tournament. My approach to competition does not change as a parent or not. We can create a beautiful story, but it is not the case”, explained the number 2 in the world.
“I could only have a negative impact if I was here for a month and they couldn’t be with me. You don’t know how you’re going to react to this kind of thing,” she continued.
“I don’t know what my feeling would be if the baby was not here for a month. I don’t know if after three weeks I would miss it and lose concentration a bit,” she added.
“But since I was not willing to accept this challenge, I am happy that my wife has agreed to come here”, he ended with a smile.