Rafael Nadal loses again at United Cup in Sydney

SYDNEY (AP) — Rafael Nadal lost again at the United Cup mixed teams tournament chalking up Monday’s defeat to Alex De Minaur to rustiness. The second-ranked Nadal lost to the Australian 3-6 6-1 7-5 after having been beaten by Britain’s Cameron Norrie in three sets. The record 22-time Grand Slam champion said he needs more matches like Monday’s to be ready for his Australian Open title defense. The 36-year-old Nadal battled foot, rib and abdomen injuries last year. In Brisbane, top-ranked Iga Swiatek beat Belinda Bencic 6-3 7-6 (3) to give Poland an early advantage against Switzerland in a winner-take-all tie.

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