Rafael Nadal overcame illness to avoid a shock defeat in the 2nd round of the Australian Open, winning American Tim Smyczek in a dramatic 5 set thriller Wednesday on the Rod Laver Arena. Nadal, who has never lost to a qualifier in a grand slam, looked on course to suffer that fate at the hands of Smyczek. The 28-year-old Nadal sought treatment from the tournament doctor early in the 3rd set and looked physically drained as he failed to serve out the set at 5-4. Given the suffering, the Spaniard still pushed through to claim victory 6-2 3-6 6-7(2) 6-3 7-5. “I don’t know what was going on,” Nadal said in a courtside interview. “I started to have cramps in different places. I was not in the perfect shape.” Visibly struggling to stay afloat, Rafael Nadal has shown again the substance great fighters are made of.
All hail the Queen. In her 100th straight week at World No.1, Serena Williams breezes through her 1st round game in Melbourne, beating Van Uytvanck 6-0 6-4. Ms Williams, sleek as ever in a killer outfit, was a delight to watch. She might have had a few problems with her serve, but hey, win she did. As Serena herself rightly said, “It’s never super easy to be the one that everyone wants to beat. So I always have to be a little bit above. But I felt okay. I definitely think I can improve a tremendous amount.” She will be facing former World No. 2 Zvonareva in the next rounds. “To meet such a (formerly) high-ranked player in the second round is not going to be easy for me. She does so many things well. She’s on the way back. I know she’s been fighting and playing really hard. I have to be ready. I have to come out of the gates ready to go and be the best I can be” Serena said. All eyes on Ms Williams and her Outfit 😉