Bat­tler Duck­worth has no Rafa fears

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

AUS­TRALIAN Open bolter James Duck­worth is un­daunted at fac­ing world No 2 Rafael Nadal at Mel­bourne Park to­mor­row, in­sist­ing he’ll give it his best shot.

Ranked No 238 in the world, Duck­worth has over­come a string of op­er­a­tions and in­juries to win the Aus­tralian Open wild­card play­off for a shot at Nadal. The first- round pair­ing is the lat­est in a long se­ries of hor­ror grand slam as­sign­ments for the New South Welsh­man.

“The last grand slams, I played (Marin Cilic) on Philippe Cha­trier (court), (Alexan­der) Zverev at Wim­ble­don then (Andy) Mur­ray first round of the US,” he grinned.

“I’ve played Roger (Fed­erer), once here and once in Brissy. I played Lley­ton (He­witt) in his last (sin­gles) match here, pretty big stage, and re­ally en­joyed it out there.

“The crowd is al­ways awe­some here in Aus­tralia and so I hope I get a bit of sup­port. I’ve had plenty of tough draws, but I like to think what comes around, goes around.”

Duck­worth has won five of 23 grand slam matches com­pared to 17- time ma­jor owner Nadal’s 247 vic­to­ries from 283 con­tests.

“It’s a tough match but I’m look­ing for­ward to it. It’s why you play ten­nis, to play on these big stages, to play against these great cham­pi­ons,” Duck­worth said.

“I’m go­ing to try my game. Try to play ag­gres­sive. It’s ex­cit­ing to get on a big court. It’s a great chal­lenge and I’ll be up for it.”

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