Rafa's aura may take time to return, says Murray

LONDON Tue Feb 5, 2013 6:57pm IST

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal hits a return during a training session at country club Las Salinas in Vina del Mar City, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal hits a return during a training session at country club Las Salinas in Vina del Mar City, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago February 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

Related Topics

Coal Mining In The Punjab

Coal Mining In The Punjab

In Choa Saidan Shah miners dig coal with crude pick axes and load it onto donkeys to be transported to the surface earning a team of 4 workers around $10 to be split between them.  Slideshow 

LONDON (Reuters) - The aura Rafa Nadal usually carries on court may take a while to return when the Spaniard finally begins his comeback in Chile this week, according to world number three Andy Murray.

Injury-hit Nadal has not played a match since a shock defeat by outsider Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon last June but will test his suspect knee in Vina del Mar on Wednesday when he takes on Argentine Guido Pella or a qualifier in the claycourt event.

World No. 92 Pella is the kind of player usually trampled into the dirt by the 11-times grand slam champion but Murray believes Nadal could be vulnerable until he gets up to speed.

"He might not have the same (aura) straight away and you would expect people in the first few months while he is not back to his highest level and think they could possibly upset him," Murray told reporters at London's Queen's Club.

"But over time, and if Rafa wins his first three tournaments back that changes everything and people will be worrying about him again. People fearing you comes winning and confidence."

Despite just returning from a knee injury which still causes him pain, the public will be expecting Spamiard Nadal to get back in the groove quickly.

Murray, however, urged caution, although he expects Nadal to be challenging strongly for an eighth French Open title in June.

"The expectation will be high and people will expect him to do things straight away but it could take a number of weeks and months before he's back to his old self again," Murray said.

"But he's been practising for a month and half and was pressing for the Australian Open before he got sick.

"Providing his knee doesn't have a setback he will win some matches in south America and if he's physically okay by the French Open he will be in good shape."

Should Nadal, who has slipped to world number five, struggle initially for form and match-sharpness, Murray will emerge as a real title contender at Roland Garros.

"I believe I have a chance of winning the French Open," said Murray, whose best result there was a semi-final in 2011 when he lost to Nadal.

"But to do that I need to prepare and use every single day as best as I can. I have an opportunity there and I have a chance. Stranger things have happened in tennis than a player in the top four or five winning the French Open."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Cricket

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games

Grenada’s James lights up Glasgow with emphatic 400 win.  Full Article 

Raising Cash

Raising Cash

Glazers to raise $150 million by cutting Man Utd stake.  Full Article 

Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics

Cho named as new head of Pyeongchang 2018 organisers.  Full Article 

Time To Roar

Time To Roar

Firestone a perfect place for Tiger to salvage season.  Full Article 

Overseas Recruit

Overseas Recruit

Trezeguet signs up for Indian Super League.  Full Article 

On The Green

On The Green

Scott once again wary of challengers for the top spot.  Full Article 

Emotional Return

Emotional Return

I need a hug, says Scolari on Gremio return.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage