Former world number one Ivan Lendl has revealed that he enjoys watching Rafael Nadal and he is hoping that the Spaniard would be back on the ATP World Tour with his 100 percent game soon.
Lendl was talking to reporters during the Czech Republic versus Spain Davis Cup final on Sunday. The eight-time Grand Slam winner is an American national now but he came back to support his former country.
He was invited on this occasion because he had lead Czechoslovakia to Davis Cup victory in 1980. The European country was later divided into Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Lendl said, "I hope he can come back at full strength. I'm looking forward to him coming back. He is a great champion and a very nice person. I always enjoy seeing him and I hope he's well and coming back soon."
Nadal is still recovering from his recurring knee injury, which has kept his sidelined from the tour for almost five months now. The Spaniard has not played even a single match since losing to Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon at the end of June.
Lendl said that Spain missed its best player but his presence might have been a disadvantage. The American believes that a fully fit Nadal is always the best asset for any team but if he would have come straight after a layoff of about six months it could have been a disadvantage.
He added, "I think you have to look at what Rafael Nadal you would have. If you have the Rafael Nadal who played all year and was healthy all year, it's obviously much better player than Rafael Nadal who would be coming back as the first match after six months off. That would be very, very difficult, even for a player like Rafa."
Spain lost 2-3 to Czech Republic in the Davis Cup final. Nicolas Almagro, who replaced Nadal as a singles specialist in the team, lost both of his matches. If Nadal would have been able to win his both matches then the final score of the tie would have been 4-1 in favor of Spain.
However, Davis Cup is over and the focus of Nadal’s fans has shifted to the Spaniard’s comeback in the next season now. The 11-time Grand Slam winner is expected to make his tour return at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
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.