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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Sports
Nadal loses to Gasquet in exhibition match
    2018-January-10  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

RAFAEL NADAL struggled with his timing and normally potent shot-making as he started his delayed preparations for the Australian Open with an error-filled 6-4, 7-5 loss to Richard Gasquet in the Kooyong Classic exhibition event yesterday.

Nadal’s readiness for the first Grand Slam of the year had been in doubt after the top-ranked Spaniard pulled out of an exhibition in Abu Dhabi and a tournament in Brisbane to start the season, citing his lack of preparation following an injury layoff at the end of 2017.

Nadal didn’t appear to be hindered by the lingering right knee injury that forced him to withdraw from the ATP Finals in November, but his uneven performance will likely lead to other questions about his match form heading into the Australian Open next week.

“It was a long year last year, so I had to start the preparation (for this season) a little bit later than usual. But here I arrive in plenty of time and it’s a good day to start feeling again ... of playing a match,” Nadal said in an on-court interview following the match.

“It’s still a good test for me and a good practice and that’s the most important thing.”

He downplayed any concerns about his knee, saying, “If I’m not feeling good, probably I will not be here. So that’s the good news.”

Nadal had particular trouble with his forehand yesterday, repeatedly misfiring into the net or spraying his shots several feet beyond the baseline.

After Gasquet broke Nadal twice to take a 3-0 lead in the second set, however, the Spaniard suddenly began hitting the lines and playing with his usual intensity, fighting back to level the match at 3-all. His concentration then appeared to dip again as he made several more unforced errors to drop serve to go down 6-5. Gasquet then served out the match.

The Australian Open has already been hit by the withdrawal of three-time major winner Andy Murray, who has been sidelined by a hip injury since Wimbledon last year and underwent surgery Monday in Melbourne after pulling out of the tournament.(SD-Agencies)

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