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Nadal almost missed opener

Image: Rafael Nadal: Overcame knee scare to win opener

Rafael Nadal revealed he was almost forced to concede his opening Australian Open match against Alex Kuznetsov with a knee injury.

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World No. 2 almost missed Australian Open after knee injury scare

Rafael Nadal revealed he was almost forced to concede his opening Australian Open match against Alex Kuznetsov with a knee injury. The 10-time grand slam winner eventually took less than two hours to defeat the American in straight sets but was afraid he wouldn't be able to make the match following the injury scare. "Yesterday evening I wasn't a hundred per cent sure I would have chance to play, because with the movement of that knee I felt that I will not be able to play," he said. Nadal played with strapping on his right knee which he told reporters was due to an unexplainable injury. "I was sitting on a chair in the hotel, I felt like a crack on the knee, but it's nothing really strange, happens a lot of time with articulation, movement, articulation," he added. "Nothing strange, I stand up, I felt the knee a little bit strange and moved the leg twice to try and find the feeling. "After the second time, the knee stayed with an unbelievable pain completely straight." The Spaniard, whose MRI and ultrasound scan both returned clear when trying to determine the problem, admitted that he was unsure whether he would be able to come through the first round encounter.

Scare

"I started the match with a little bit of scare and nervous because I was really disappointed yesterday," he said. "But after the first 10 games I started to play with normal conditions." After claiming the first set 6-4 the world No. 2 went on with ease to claim both the following sets 6-1 and despite not knowing what happened to his knee was delighted with the improvement in condition. "The best thing is I felt the knee very well," he added. "So it's something that I really don't understand why happened, but I am really happy that today I was ready to play and I played a fantastic match." Nadal will now face Tommy Haas in the second round later this week.

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