Australian Open: Rafael Nadal made to sweat by spirited Khachanov, enters 4th round


Melbourne: Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal had to battle for two hours and 50 minutes to carve out a hard-fought 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Karen Khachanov and enter the fourth round of the men’s singles competition at the Australian Open 2022.

The 20-time grand slam champion Nadal started off on a confident note at the historic Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Nadal not only held his serve but broke his opponent Karen Khachanov’s serve in the second game of the match to take a 3-0 lead. 

The 2009 Australian Open champion won the opening set 6-3. In the second set too Nadal broke his opponent’s serve in the very first game fighting his way as there were seven deuce in the game which the Spaniard finally won. Nadal broke him again in the fifth game and pocketed the second set 6-2.

Just when it seemed that Nadal will take the match away in straight sets the Russian clawed his way back breaking the Spaniard in the fourth game of the third set to take a crucial 3-1 lead. Both the players held their serves from there as the third set ended 6-3 in Karen Khachanov’s favour.

Karen Khachanov’s comeback in the match came in as a ray of hope for the Russian but his effectiveness did not last long as in the fourth set sixth seed Nadal held his serve and broke him in the next one to race to a 3-0 lead. 

The 2009 champion broke the Russian for the second time in the fourth set to take a 5-1 lead and serve for the match to win it 6-1.

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first published:Jan. 21, 2022, 9 p.m.

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