World number 10 Richard Gasquet of France has so much confidence in the former top ranked player Rafael Nadal that he thinks the Spaniard will make comeback with a bang and start winning tournament after tournament on the clay courts.
Gasquet is currently playing at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open where he reached the title match on Friday. The Frenchman, who is a former world number seven, gained immense popularity when he stunned the then near unbeatable Roger Federer in the very first meeting between these two in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters in 2005.
The 26-year-old was asked in a recent interview if he thinks that Nadal would be able to make a successful comeback to the ATP World Tour. He replied, "For sure he has problem with his knee, but I'm sure he's coming back on clay in a month, and I'm sure he will be ready for Monte Carlo, that kind of tournament. He will be a hundred per cent. I'm pretty sure he will come back at his best level soon.”
Nadal, who has not played a single match in more than last six months, was scheduled to make a comeback to competitive tennis at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in the last week of 2012 and then resume his tour participation by contesting at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. However, he withdrew due to a stomach bug not only from these two events but also the Australian Open.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion had already asked his fans to not to expect much from him before the start of clay court season and he would try to regain his full form till the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where he would be a eight time defending champion.
The king of clay is now expected to make his comeback at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco in the last week of February.
Gasquet added, "He's coming back on a clay court, which is better for his knee. For sure he will come back at his top form for Monte Carlo (in April), these kind of tournaments. And for me he's still the favourite for Roland Garros."
The Frenchman has played 10 matches against Nadal but could not manage to win even a single one of them.
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.