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Rafael Nadal walkover vs. Tallon Griekspoor, Australian Open preparation


Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal is now just two victories away from claiming his first piece of silverware for the year.

Rafael Nadal’s quest to enter the Australian Open with winning momentum received a huge leg-up on Friday after he cruised into the semi-finals of the Melbourne Summer Set without even taking to the court.

A foot injury forced the World No. 6’s would-be opponent, Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, to withdraw from the quarter-final on match day, gifting Nadal a free pass to the next round.

Sidelined for five months last year with a foot injury of his own, Nadal is now just two wins away from claiming his first piece of silverware in 2022 and bursting into the Australian Open on a high.

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The 20-time grand slam champion is set to meet World No. 95 Emil Ruusuvuori in the Melbourne Summer Set’s semis on Saturday and will be as fresh as a daisy, having enjoyed a rare day off from play.

Ruusuvuori has punched above his weight all tournament – he’s polished off Sebastian Baez, Alex Molcan and Aussie Jordan Thompson on his way to the semis, but has defeated a player in the top ten on only one occasion.

While Nadal has won all the other grand slam tournaments multiple times, he has tasted victory in Melbourne just once, in 2009.

The Spaniard has the chance to become the all-time leader in grand slam title wins if he hoists the trophy at the Australian Open later this month.

However, Nadal isn’t getting ahead of himself, particularly given his recent injury.

“It’s not possible to be totally confident and comfortable after an injury of probably around six months,” he said.

“You need to get back to the confidence on a tennis perspective and on a body perspective day by day.

“I am working hard to recover all these positive feelings with my physical performance,

with my tennis performance.”

Griekspoor may not get to meet Nadal at the Australian Open, admitting he would be racing against the clock to be fit in time.

“These are the matches you play for,” Griekspoor said of his scrapped match with Nadal on Twitter.

“Sad to pull out with a foot injury. Trying everything to be healthy for AO in 10 days time!”

Tennis Australia confirmed Griekspoor’s foot injury would also rule him out of the Sydney Tennis Classic, which gets underway at Sydney’s Olympic Park precinct on Monday.

Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray are among the famous faces who are listed to be playing in the men’s singles tournament from Monday.

Kyrgios withdrew from Melbourne with asthma, while Murray bowed out in the first round.

Originally published as Melbourne Summer Set: Rafael Nadal awarded walkover, advances to semi-finals



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