Australian Open: Yannick Hanfmann’s big moment: No sensation, but praise from Rafael Nadal

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Yannick Hanfmann fights hard against Rafael Nadal in Melbourne, but the surprise doesn’t work.

Even the great Rafael Nadal gave a respectful shirtless applause as Yannick Hanfmann left the Rod Laver Arena to loud cheers from the fans.

The underdog put up a big fight with the tennis superstar, even tearing the audience off their seats with four match balls saved – but in the end he clearly missed the surprise against the co-favorite.

The qualifier lost to the Grand Slam record winner in the second round of the Australian Open despite his good performance 2: 6, 3: 6, 4: 6, but Nadal had to work hard for 2:42 hours for this win.

“I was hoping to challenge him a bit more at the end. But if you don’t take your chances, he’ll punish you,” said Hanfmann: “It’s still a defeat, so of course I’m disappointed.”

He also received praise from Nadal. “I think his level today was much higher than his ranking position,” said the Spaniard, which of course made Hanfmann happy. “With a few days gap,” said number 126 in the world, “I’ll be proud of myself and take that with me into the season.”

Hanfmann bravely offers up to Nadal

With his first win in a Grand Slam main draw, Hanfmann earned the highly acclaimed match against Nadal. The Spaniard triumphed in Melbourne in 2009, then lost four more finals – and this year, in the absence of Novak Djokovic, has the great opportunity to crown himself as the sole record holder on the Yarra River with his 21st Grand Slam triumph.

But Hanfmann had something against it, he started strong. He acted variably, kept putting Nadal under pressure with net attacks, and even had two break chances in the first set: But it was precisely in these phases that the Mallorcan showed world-class tennis.

In 2019 at the French Open, in Nadal’s living room, Hanfmann had already met the top player and clearly lost in three sets. On hard court he now wanted to “annoy Nadal a little more” – and apart from a small phase of weakness at the end of the first set, he did extremely well.

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