c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Rafael Nadal wins the opening round of the Australian Open but loses his favourite racket in the middle of the match.
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Rafael Nadal wins the opening round of the Australian Open but loses his favourite racket in the middle of the match.

Ella Ling/Shutterstock

Rafael Nadal may now laugh at the amusing incident that occurred. The Spaniard, who defeated Britain's Jack Draper in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday, discovered himself without the racket he planned to play with halfway through the opening set after a ball kid unintentionally took the wrong one to the stringer. About the incident, he spoke with Eurosport.

 Rafael Nadal has advanced to the second round of the Australian Open after defeating Jack Draper (7-5, 2-6, 6-4, and 6-1) in a match that required perseverance on his part. The Spanish tennis player, who had recently experienced a run of poor results following a prolonged period of inactivity in 2022, gets off to a good start and wins the opening match of the Australian Open season, which boosts his self-assurance and enables him to focus better on the upcoming obstacle on the track.

It will not be an easy battle for the Spanish tennis player against Mackenzie McDonald, who was able to defeat the great discovery Brandon Nakashima. The best thing to come out of the world number two's encounter against Draper was that Nadal was viewed to be more involved in the game, paying more attention, working on his striking, and limiting unforced errors, which has been a big "must" for him since getting back on the court. The increase in confidence is, to put it mildly, extremely positive.

It is well known that the Spaniard is one of the most methodical athletes in the world. He has routines for almost everything and repeats them to himself as a mantra to keep his focus even during the most challenging parts of a match. His bottles on the floor, the way he uses towels, how he dries his sweat, and how he styles his hair have all become rituals. But Nadal did not anticipate that during his first match, his favourite racket would be lost.

They are all a part of Nadal's on-court routines. And one of them goes through the racket. As per usual, the Spaniard prepares a number of grips in order to have them available throughout the game: he takes one to play, leaves another ready on the chair, along with a few in the bag.

Furthermore, the player himself did not notice that one of the racket would vanish. It occurred in the first set, with Nadal winning the half 4-3. After the break, the Spaniard stood up from his bench to pick up the second racket he always keeps handy, a change he makes when he notices the first one is starting to lose the advantages he likes. Imagine his surprise when he realised that it had vanished and was not where he had left it!

The Spaniard searched for it, and when he couldn't find it, he went to the chair umpire and asked where his racket was. He continued, "The ball boy took my racket," at that point. The Spaniard was grinning inconsolably over what had occurred.

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