World number 2, Rafael Nadal, will begin his 2019 season at the Australian Open. Nadal is set to play James Duckworth from Australian in the opening round of the tournament.
Rafael Nadal last played at the US Open where he made it into the semifinals. Since Flushing Meadows, Nadal has struggled with injuries which caused him to miss the Paris Masters, the Shanghai Masters and the ATP Finals. As far as talent is concerned, Nadal is amongst the best of all-time but it is going to be tough for the Spaniard to start the tournament at his best as he hasn’t played competitive tennis since October 2018. That being said, Nadal has a good record at Melbourne Park as he won the title in 2009 meaning he should be comfortable at this venue.
On the other side of the court, James Duckworth has had a poor start to the season as he lost in the opening round of both the Brisbane International and Sydney International. The biggest issue for Duckworth has been his serving as he has lost 6 service games in his past 2 matches. As far as this contest is concerned, James Duckworth will need to be at his best if he wishes to compete against Rafael Nadal.
This is set to be the first time that Rafael Nadal and James Duckworth will be playing each other at an ATP event.
When looking at these two players, Rafael Nadal is far more skilled, accomplished and experienced in comparison to James Duckworth. The only issue for Nadal is going to be his lack of court time which could mean the Spaniard will not be at his best. That being said, even if Nadal is not at his best, the world number 2 should be good enough to beat James Duckworth.