Rafael Nadal has lashed out at the Australian Open over the official Dunlop balls that will be used at the 2023 tournament, saying they are a “worse quality without a doubt” compared to 2022.
A year on from his sensational triumph at Melbourne Park, where he won his second Australian Open title with an epic five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev, the 36-year-old enters the first grand slam of the new year as the number one seed.
But the Spanish legend has struggled in recent weeks, losing to both Australia’s No. 24 Alex de Minaur and Britain’s No. 14 Cameron Norrie in the United Cup in Sydney, as well as a practice match defeat to world No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday.
All of those matches were using Dunlop’s new official AO ball – and Nadal is far from happy.
Speaking to media on Saturday in Melbourne, he said he had no problems with the court surface in Melbourne, but the…