Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is looking forward to playing against Nick Kyrgios and Cameron Norrie at the United Cup as he feels that will be a great preparation for the Australian Open. Nadal, the defending Australian Open champion, kicks off his 2023 season at the inaugural United Cup as Spain shares Group D with Australia and Great Britain.
On 31 December, Nadal plays against 2022 Wimbledon semifinalist Norrie. Two days later, Nadal will meet 2022 Wimbledon runner-up Kyrgios. “I will probably travel on December 26 because on the 31st I will play in the United Cup against Cameron Norrie.
I’m looking forward to sharing a team with my teammates and I’m sure it will be a fun experience. I will play at least two matches before the Australian Open – on January 2nd I will play against Nick Kyrgios – which will be very good for me and hopefully we can advance further but it is clear that the draw is complicated.
We have to be realistic and admit that I’m going to be a bit short of fitness, but I’m going to try to win or at least get to the level I need to be competitive in Melbourne,” Nadal told Marca.
Nadal will play only the United Cup leading up to Melbourne
The inaugural United Cup is scheduled to take place between 29 December – 08 January.
As it stands now, Nadal will only play the inaugural United Cup leading up to the Australian Open. “I don’t like to play the week before a Grand Slam. I haven’t done it for 15 or 16 years and I’m not going to do it now,” Nadal noted.
At the start of the 2022 season, Nadal made it all the way in his first tournament of the season at the Melbourne Summer Set. Nadal then went on to win the Australian Open. Now, Nadal is again taking a similar approach as he is set to play just one tournament leading up to the Australian Open.