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Heartbreaks and smiles: The 5 best Rafael Nadal matches at the Australian Open

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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 01:22 IST
Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt at the 2004 Australian Open

Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt at the 2004 Australian Open

A few days ago, Star Sports showed the highlights of the 2009 Australian Open and for those who missed that tournament, like I did, even such bits and pieces are like a godsend. So while I was glued on to the television screen, watching Rafael Nadal conquering all odds and crushing the spirits of Fernando Verdasco and Roger Federer en route to clinching his first ever Australian Open trophy, my mind went back to some of the best matches in Melbourne featuring Nadal. Some he won, some he lost – but these matches still stay fresh in our memories.

5. Rafael Nadal vs Lleyton Hewitt 2004 ( Hewitt def Nadal 7-6,7-6,6-2 in the third round)

Many regard the five setter fourth round encounter between Nadal and Hewitt in the 2005 Australian Open as one of their best match-ups. That was undoubtedly superior to the 2004 meeting, but the latter one showcased the glimpses of the genius-in-making to the world. The ‘Wonder Kid from Mallorca’ was already making waves on the clay courts and even though he lost to Hewitt, his unflinching attitude and aggressive play garnered high praise.

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Published 11 Jan 2014, 16:46 IST
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