World No. 65 Taloon Griekspoor is confident he could stun Rafael Nadal at the Melbourne Summer Set.
Griekspoor, 25, revealed Nadal was one of his idols and he is looking forward to playing him in the Melbourne quarterfinal.
After losing in the US Open second round, Griekspoor went undefeated in the rest of the season as he won five consecutive Challenger titles.
On the other side, Nadal ended his season in August due to a foot issue.
Griekspoor has won his past 28 matches.
“It’s really nice to play against Nadal, because he won’t be there for so many years. Nadal used to be my idol, along with Andy Murray,” Griekspoor said, per Nieuws.”He won’t be in great shape while I’m playing well.”
Nadal commented on the Novak Djokovic drama
Djokovic was detained at the Melbourne Airport for nine hours before being told his visa was cancelled.
“I think if he (had) wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without a problem,” Nadal said. “He went through another…he made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.
“Of course I don’t like the situation that is happening. In some way I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he makes his own decision.”
Nadal also said he understands the frustration of the Australians.
“(It) seems some rough situation, but at the end of the day the only thing that I can say is we have been going through very challenging and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic,” he said.
“It’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the case because they have been going through a lot of very hard lockdowns, and a lot of people were not able to come back home.”