Despite beating the dangerous Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets, Nadal refuses to get carried away and dream of a title in Melbourne
Melbourne: Rafael Nadal refused to get carried away by his first round win in the Australian Open yesterday, despite admitting he found beating Mikhail Youzhny easier than expected.
Rafael Nadal serves against Mikhail Youzhny at Melbourne Park yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Nadal won his ninth French Open title last year, but lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon and then spent almost three months on the sidelines with a wrist injury that forced him to miss the US Open.
After returning to action the 28-year-old was diagnosed with appendicitis and underwent an operation at the start of November, leaving him pessimistic about his chances of winning a title in Melbourne.
Those chances looked to have improved greatly after he dispatched the Youzhny 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, but Nadal said: “What I say the other day is true. Today is very hard to speak about having chances. I have won one match.
“That’s better than two days ago, but I need more to feel that I am ready for something very important here so it is not the right moment to talk about that. It’s the moment to really give to this victory the right value.”
Asked if the match had proved easier than expected, Nadal added: “That is true. It’s a very positive result for me. Always before the first match you have doubts, especially in the situation I arrived here. It’s never easy, but it was a comfortable victory that give me some confidence.”
After Nadal made short work of Youzhny, his own shorts came in for some attention due to their length — or lack thereof.
"To make the shorts shorter is something that I like," said Nadal. "I feel more comfortable this way.
We make it shorter already last year, and this year a little bit more. I feel more comfortable here, more fresh. Sometimes it's good to have some changes. I prefer this way."