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‘It’s tough to be happy with Nadal or Ruud’ – Match Points panel on Australian Open disappointments

Two of the favourites for the men’s singles titles fell early on in Melbourne – and the Match Points panel were not impressed

Rafael Nadal Casper Ruud South America 2022 AI/Reuters/Panoramic

The top two men’s seeds Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round – so it’s no wonder the Match Points panel pinpointed them as the biggest disappointments of the tournament.

Top seed Nadal went out in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 to Mackenzie McDonald, while second seed Ruud lost 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-2 to Jenson Brooksby.

“It’s tough to be happy with either of those,” said journalist Ben Rothenberg.

“Nadal obviously had question marks over his form. He really has not played well since his injury at Wimbledon. His record has been pretty terrible by his standards. Him going out like that – he was losing that match before he seemed to aggravate that injury late in the second set.”

Bartoli on Ruud: “He had no time to get ready for it”

And former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli said she had hoped for better from Ruud, carrying in the momentum from making the final of the US Open and the ATP Finals.

But she felt that his pre-tournament preparation was less than ideal – joining Nadal on a tour of South America and then having his break before heading to Melbourne.

“He had no time to get ready for it. When you’re already a Grand Slam finalist on two occasions, between Roland-Garros and the US Open, you are hoping to win a Grand Slam, that’s the next step. That goes without saying. You just accept you have no pre-season and zero chance at the Australian Open? I just don’t understand that thinking process. If he’s fine with it, OK.”

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