Richard Gasquet of France on Tuesday handed a defeat to World No.1 Rafael Nadal at the Kooyong Classic exhibition in Australia.
This was Nadal’s first match after withdrawing due to a right knee injury from the 2017 ATP Finals in London, and despite losing 4-6, 5-7 to the World No.31, he remained upbeat about his physical condition, reports Xinhua news agency.
“It’s not an official match but still a test for me and good practice, that’s the most important thing, that’s the most important thing for the whole season,” the 31-year-old Spaniard said, reaffirming his need to keep practising hard to be prepared for the Australian Open.
“I had a long year last year, so I had to start my preparation later than usual. But I’ve arrived with plenty of time and it’s a good day to start again the feelings of playing a match,” the 16-time Grand Slam champion added.
On Wednesday, Nadal is set to play against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, World No.14, at the Tie Break Tens in Melbourne, where matches are to be comprised of tie-breaks only, with no games and no sets.
Nadal’s first official match is scheduled to take place at the Australian Open, following his withdrawal from the Brisbane International tournament and from an exhibition held in Abu Dhabi.