Rafael Nadal made it into the second round of the Aussie Open last night (our time - Tuesday during the day their time, in what is always the most confusing time zone switch imaginable). His opponent Marcos Daniel from Brazil retired with a knee injury trailing 6-0, 5-0. He provided no challenge at all and deprived me of watching a good Rafa match. Boo-urns to that, but get better Marcos!
It was such little time and competition on the court that Rafa immediately went to the practice courts and worked on his serve for another half hour. After coming down with the flu in Doha a short while ago, Rafa was looking for more of a battle in the 1st round here to help establish his rhythm on the court. There were times in the beginning of the second set it looked like Rafa was having a hard time maintaining his focus and interest in the lopsided match. Understandably so.
Nadal will next play Ryan Sweeting from the United States in the second round. If Nadal should win this year's Australian Open he will complete the "Rafa Slam" - holding all four major titles at once, which has not been done since Rod Laver completed a Calendar Grand Slam in 1969. It will be quite the challenge for Our Hero, but it's not impossible. 6 matches left. 1 match at a time. Vamos!