Away from Melbourne where all the action is happening at this year’s first grand slam tournament, the 2016 Australian Open, Rafael Nadal is seen practicing on his favorite surface. Nadal shared a snap on his official Twitter account while practicing on the red dirt just a few days after losing in the first round of the first grand slam tournament of the 2016 tennis season.
The 14-time grand slam champion “King of Clay” is looking to leave early struggles behind him by training on clay as seen on one of his social media posts. However, Nadal did not caption the photo if it was taken on the practice courts in his hometown of Manacor.
Nadal, who recently reached nine million followers on Twitter, suffered a shocking first round exit at the Australian Open 2016 after falling to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in a thrilling five-setter, 7-6(6) 4-6 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 on Jan. 19.
It was the first time in his career that the Spanish tennis star had exited the Australian Open in the opening round and it was just Nadal’s third loss in all 17 encounters against Verdasco.
Despite the stunning upset, Nadal is not letting defeat to his Spanish foe rattle his confidence. Nadal said in an interview with El Espanol that he is still on the right track. He added that he had been training more that he was able to. He looks forward to getting back on action.
“I’m going to try to continue this way and put the Verdasco match behind me,” Nadal said. “It’s a difficult defeat at the moment, but in a few weeks I’ll be competing again, I have to keep up the hard work to be ready.”
Nadal had a late surge in 2015, ended it in positive fashion by making the finals in Basel and Beijing. He also reached the semifinals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. This season, the former World number one played his first tournament at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open where he reached the finals before losing to Novak Djokovic in straight sets, 6-1 6-2.
Photo courtesy: Twitter/Rafael Nadal