'Rafael Nadal can never be counted out in Paris', says former ATP ace

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'Rafael Nadal can never be counted out in Paris', says former ATP ace

Along with Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis and Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic was among the most notable youngsters at the end of 2006. The Belgrade native won two ATP titles that year, advancing to his first quarter-final in a Major in Roland.

Garros and scored more than 60 spots on the ATP ranking list for a perfect position before the new campaign. Djokovic opened the 2007 action in Adelaide, lifting the third ATP trophy after a close win over Chris Guccione and preparing for the first Major of the season in Melbourne.

Novak had two early starts at the Australian Open in the past two years and made up for it with a landslide win over Nicolás Massu and another against Feliciano López. Novak defeated Danai Udomchoke in four sets in the third round to host the long-awaited match against No.

1 and the defending champion, Roger Federer. It was his third meeting, and the Swiss achieved the third victory over the young opponent, beating Novak 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 50 minutes for a place in the quarterfinals.

Roger barely missed the serve he suffered a break and stole 45% of the return points to steal Novak's serve five times and control the pace. Federer landed 50 winners and handled his punches efficiently, giving him the edge on quicker and mid-range exchanges.

The Swiss prevailed in the decisive moments of the second set and sailed towards the goal in the third. After the match, Novak praised Roger and stated that he hardly feels the pressure at crucial moments, always finding the best solutions and beating all rivals who want to take the throne from him.

Mats Wilander speaks about Nadal

Weighing in on the news of Rafael Nadal's latest setback, seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander said he was "sad and very worried" about the Spaniard's condition.

According to Wilander, Nadal may never be able to win big tournaments again. According to Wilander, Nadal's body is taking a "beating" with each passing year on the ATP Tour. "We are getting used to expecting him to not be able to play.

He is always trying and is always ready," he said. He is trying but he just can't do it and I guess with every year it seems like he's playing less and less. He is getting older and his body is taking a beating."

While Nadal's body might no longer allow him to stay competitive at the other three Slams, Wilander believes the 35-year-old can never be counted out in Paris. "It might be the end of winning Grand Slam tournaments, but with Rafa and Roland Garros and the love affair he has over there, you can never say it is the end of that relationship until the day he has hung his rackets on the wall," Wilander said.