Tennis: World number one Rafael Nadal will be trying to win his maiden Paris-Bercy title next week and he has been helped by a draw which he could have dreamed.
Nadal is the top seed at Paris Masters and he has his third seeded compatriot David Ferrer in his half of the draw. The two other main title contenders i.e. second seeded Novak Djokovic and fifth seeded Roger Federer are in the other half of the draw. Juan Martin Del Potro, who thrashed Nadal in straight sets in the semi-final of Shanghai Masters is fourth seed and is also in other half.
In Nadal’s half of the draw, his highest ranked rivals are third seeded Ferrer, sixth seeded Tomas Berdych and eighth seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Spaniard has 20-4, 8-3 and 16-3 head to head lead over them respectively. Though, Nadal faced most of the losses at the hands of these players on hard courts but these are the least harmful players he could have had in his half of the draw.
The French Open and US Open champion has vowed to make extra effort at the BNP Paribas Masters and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as these two events are held on his least favoured surface and he has failed to win them so far in his career.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion has a bye in the first round. He will either face Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov or compatriot Marcel Granollers in the second round. The 27-year-old is expected to face 14th seed Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in the third round.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.