WATCH: Rafael Nadal Looking in Great Shape During Intense Practice Amid Injury Concerns at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/08/2021, 12:00 AM EST
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


For all the tennis fans fretting over the participation of Rafael Nadal in the upcoming Australian Open, there is finally a piece of good news to share.

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Rafael Nadal looked at ease knocking tennis balls with Norwegian Casper Ruud

The superstar Spaniard was videoed knocking tennis balls on a practice court ahead of his first-round tie at the year’s first Major and seemed completely at ease while at it.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of his country’s campaign at the ATP Cup, citing back spasms.

His withdrawal led to frenzied speculations on whether he would be fit and ready in time for his opener at Melbourne Park. However, if the videos on Twitter are any indication, the Spaniard simply can’t wait to get out there.

In the practice videos with Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud, Nadal looks to be moving well into positions to fire his trademark groundstrokes.

He looks in no apparent discomfort as he shapes up to play his signature forehands and backhands and is even seen moving closer to practice volleys.

The Spaniard is also seen smiling as he goes about his practice routine, which further suggests that he isn’t weighed down by fitness worries and is, instead, in a cheerful space mentally, going into the year’s first Grand Slam.

When Nadal rued his missed chances at Australian Open

Nadal is bidding for his second Australian Open title since the epic win over old foe Roger Federer in the title clash in 2009. He will take on unheralded Serbian Laslo Dere in his opening-round fixture on Tuesday.

In a pre-tournament interview on Sunday, the Spaniard, who is currently level with Federer for the most number of Grand Slam titles in the men’s game, rued the missed chances that he had to lift his second Australian Open crown.

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He cited the 2014 edition of the tournament where he had reached the final, only to go down eventually to Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

The Spaniard revealed that he’d suffered a back injury during the title showdown, which all but blew his chance of landing the second crown at Melbourne.

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He also looked back at 2012 and 2017 when he fell at the business-end of the tournament.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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