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Aus Open: Nadal plays down title hopes

Aus Open: Nadal plays down title hopes
The 14-time Grand Slam winner won the Australian Open back in 2009 but his prospects in the new season’s first Major tournament suffered a setback afer enduring an operation to remove his appendix in November, also suffering wrist and back injuries last year.

To make matters worse, Nadal lost to Germany’s Michael Berrer in the first round of the Qatar Open earlier this month, that left him crucially short of match practice. “It will be difficult but I’m working as much as I can to be competitive,” he was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald Thursday.

“It would be better if I had a few more matches (approaching the Australian Open), but in the end that’s what there is and the important thing for me is that I am back and healthy and competitive again,” he added. Nadal said he will be taking a match-by-match approach and is targeting to win the first round match. “I’ve got to try my best in the first round, if I am able to win a couple of matches then you don’t know,” he said. The Australian Open begins next Monday.

Yuki a win away from main draw

Yuki Bhambri kept alive his hopes of making the Australian Open singles main draw after scoring a straight sets victory over higher-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka in the qualifying event on Thursday. The 314th-ranked Indian dispatched Nishioka 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes in the second round contest.

Yuki saved as many as seven break chances on his serve against the Japanese, who is ranked 165 in the world. The 22-year-old had also ousted 129th ranked and 15th seed Evgeny Donskoy from Russian in the opening round. Yuki is now up against America’s Chase Buchanan, who knocked out Croatia’s 32nd seed Mate Delic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in his second round.
Agencies

Agencies

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