Looks like Stanislas Wawrinka is in high demand since winning the Australian Open as two of the greatest tennis players of all time chose him as the practice partner on the same day at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Monday.
First, Wawrinka practised with reigning world number one Nadal, the player whom he defeated in the Australian Open final. Then later in the day, he trained with his compatriot and Davis Cup team mate Roger Federer.
Wawrinka just had a simple hitting session with Nadal with the Spaniard’s coach and Uncle Toni Nadal supervising his nephew’s training session like always. However, he played a full set with Federer, with the 17-time Grand Slam winner coming to the net often. This shows that the Swiss Maestro will continue with his aggressive approach during the clay season.
Nadal and Wawrinka are drawn to meet in the semi-finals of the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay court event of the season. The winner of the two will expect to meet Federer or defending champion Novak Djokovic in the title match.
All of these top four seeds have a bye in the first round. Djokovic will play his opening match against Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes on Tuesday. Nadal, Wawrinka and Federer will start their campaigns with respective opponents on Wednesday.
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.