World number 1 Rafael Nadal had a crowded Rod Laver Arena crowd that he ate from his hands Tuesday afternoon as he wiped out his first round opponent in consecutive streaks, but the biggest roar of the day was reserved for the post-game interview.
Nadal looked in good shape while easily crushing the young Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0 before using his post-game interview with the Nine commentator Jim Courier to discuss the fire crisis in Australia and his incredible 2019 which included two Grand Slam titles and a wedding.
When asked which part of his year gave him his happiest memory, Nadal invited the crowd to respond with his answer.
Rafa defeats Dellien
“Well, the wedding. My wife is here,” he said with an embarrassed laugh. “Now I have to deal with the answers.
“It has been a very special year, all the results, all the experiences I have lived all over the world have been unforgettable. I had some low moments at the beginning of the season with many problems on my body but in the end after the first three months I started feeling better in my body and I started playing fantastic tennis, no.
“So it’s been a special year, I’m very excited about this new one. I hope to continue playing at the right level to stay very competitive.”
After a terrible loss to Novak Djokovic in last year’s Australian Open final, Nadal overcame injury problems to get a ridiculous and unprecedented crown of the 12th French Open and followed with a fourth US Open title to close in one of Roger Federer’s greatest all-time records of 20.
At 33, Nadal remains hungry to add his feedback and his overwhelming victory over Dellien was the perfect way to start his Australian Open campaign.
“It was a positive start for me personally,” he said.
“All you want in the first round is just to win and if he’s on the straight sets (even better), so happy and excited to be back here in Melbourne.”
Nadal will play Federico Delbonis or Joao Sousa in Wednesday’s second round and looking ahead in the draw, the Spanish champion could face Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round.
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– with AAP