Australian Open: Impressive Nadal outclasses Giron in first round

By Sports Desk January 17, 2022

Rafael Nadal made a strong start to his Australian Open campaign, brushing past Marcos Giron in the opening round on Monday.

The Spanish superstar outclassed American Giron in a resounding 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal, who can claim the outright lead for most grand slams won by a man if he clinches his 21st in Melbourne, was in good form.

Playing his first major since last year's French Open, Nadal – the only former champion in the draw following Novak Djokovic's deportation from the country – was never troubled by Giron.

Nadal reeled off five consecutive games to take the opening set in 24 minutes.

His excellent first set was highlighted by two brilliant winners to break for 5-1 as he completely dominated Giron.

Nadal capitalised on his momentum by breaking in the opening game of the second set, Giron finally stopping the run by holding for 1-2.

The Spaniard maintained his lead and was forced to serve out the set, doing so to 15 to take complete control.

A backhand pass saw Nadal break again in the opening game of the third set on his way to a comprehensive win, with Thanasi Kokkinakis or Yannick Hanfmann awaiting him in the second round.

 

DATA SLAM: Nadal makes no mistake in opener

Only twice in his illustrious career has Nadal lost in the opening round of a grand slam – at Wimbledon in 2013 and the 2016 Australian Open.

But since his defeat to Fernando Verdasco in Melbourne six years ago, Nadal has not lost a set in the Australian Open first round, continuing that record against Giron.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 34/26
Giron – 10/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 7/2
Giron – 2/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 5/9
Giron – 0/2

Related items

  • IPL: Sunrisers cruise to victory to boost second-place hopes IPL: Sunrisers cruise to victory to boost second-place hopes

    Sunrisers Hyderabad eased to a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings on Sunday to boost their chances of finishing second in the Indian Premier League.

    Prabhsimran Singh helped Punjab set a target of 215, but Hyderabad chased that down with relative ease to go second, a position they will finish in should Rajasthan Royals lose to the table-topping Kolkata Knight Riders later on Sunday.

    After the Sunrisers won the toss and put Punjab in to bat, Prabhsimran top scored with 71 runs from 45 deliveries, while Atharva Taide (46 off 27) and Rilee Roussouw (49 from 24) also impressed as the Kings, already out of playoff contention, finished on 214/5.

    Hyderabad's chase got off to a terrible start as Travis Head was bowled with the first ball of the innings, but the Sunrisers' other opener Abhishek Sharma helped to steady the ship alongside Rahul Tripathi.

    Abhishek smashed his way to 66 off 28 deliveries before he was dismissed, while an important innings from Heinrich Klaasen (42 from 26) set the Sunrisers up for victory.

    Abdul Samad and Sanvir Singh finished the job as the Sunrisers reached their target with five balls to spare, and they can now look ahead to their playoff campaign.

    Data debrief: Abhishek wastes no time

    The Sunrisers overcame Head's second IPL golden duck thanks to a brilliant innings from Abhishek, who reached his half-century in just 21 balls and finished with a strike rate of 235.71.

    Tripathi and Klaasen achieved strike rates of 183.33 and 161.53 respectively, while Nitish Kumar Reddy also finished with 37 from 25 deliveries as Hyderabad made light work of a daunting target.

  • Raducanu withdraws from French Open qualifying Raducanu withdraws from French Open qualifying

    Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from French Open qualifying, which starts on Monday.

    Having endured an injury-hit few years since her 2021 US Open triumph, Raducanu was able to enter the year's second grand slam with a protected ranking of 103rd.

    However, that was not enough to put her on the automatic entry list and she was not awarded a wildcard, making her third alternate for the women's draw.

    No reason has been given for Raducanu's withdrawal from next week's qualifying tournament, and she can now only feature at Roland-Garros if three players drop out.

    Raducanu was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Argentine qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle in the first round of the Madrid Open last month, subsequently saying she was "mentally and emotionally exhausted".

    A host of withdrawals meant she did not have to go through qualifying for the Australian Open earlier this year, though she was beaten by China's Wang Yafan in the second round. 

    Raducanu has not made it past the second round in six major appearances since her triumph at Flushing Meadows, and she missed the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open last year after undergoing wrist and ankle surgeries.

  • Emery admits 'I have my dreams' with Villa after sealing Champions League qualification Emery admits 'I have my dreams' with Villa after sealing Champions League qualification

    Unai Emery has his sights set on winning the Premier League or Champions League with Aston Villa after securing a top-four finish earlier this week.

    Fifth-place Tottenham's defeat to title-chasing Manchester City on Tuesday meant Villa will play in Europe's premier club competition next season for the first time in 41 years.

    Emery's side conclude a memorable season – in which they also reached the Europa Conference League semi-finals – away at Crystal Palace on the final day.

    And the Spaniard is already focused on achieving bigger and better things with Villa. 

    "It really was amazing when the [Tottenham-Manchester City] match finished," he smiled. "At the beginning of the season, it was really a dream. Of course, we worked hard to try to be there.

    "I want to get better, and I have my dreams, and I believe in my dreams. Of course, my objectives are to win the Premier League or the Champions League. We are not contenders, but it is our dream to achieve something like that."

    Meanwhile, Palace have enjoyed a strong finish to the season, winning five of their last six games.

    The Eagles could seal a top-half finish with a victory – and other results going their way – and Oliver Glasner has urged his players to use that as inspiration at Selhurst Park.

    "I'm pleased with the performances we've had," he said. "We want to win. We always focus on what we can influence. If we don't do our job, we don't win, we can't be 10th. It's good motivation at home to say thank you to the fans."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Crystal Palace – Jean-Philippe Mateta

    Mateta has scored in each of his last six home Premier League appearances for Palace, netting eight goals along the way. 

    He is now aiming to become only the second Frenchman after Thierry Henry to find the net in seven successive Premier League appearances on home soil.

    Aston Villa – Ollie Watkins

    Watkins has recorded the most assists in the Premier League this season with 13.

    Only Ashley Young has ever provided more during a single Premier League campaign for Villa (14 in 2007-08).

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    Palace are unbeaten on each of the previous 11 occasions they have finished a top-flight season with a home match (winning seven, drawing four).

    By contrast, Villa have only won once in the 25 occasions they have finished a league campaign with an away game (drawn seven, lost 17).

    That sole victory came against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 2001-02.

    On a brighter note, Villa are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League away games in London, winning five of their six this term. 

    With 16 such points this season, a win or draw here would set a new Premier League record for the most achieved during a single campaign.

    Although, you must go back to their title-winning season of 1980-81 for the last time they completed a league double over Palace.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Crystal Palace: 31.8%
    Aston Villa: 39.5%
    Draw: 28.7

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.