Sports Tennis 13 Sep 2016 Rafael Nadal and Co. ...

Rafael Nadal and Co. arrive in full force

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Sep 13, 2016, 1:40 am IST
Updated Sep 13, 2016, 1:41 am IST
Since 2004, Spain have won five Davis Cup titles and the last one came in 2011.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal (left) at a practice session in New Delhi on Monday, ahead of their Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against India (Photo: AP)
 Spain’s Rafael Nadal (left) at a practice session in New Delhi on Monday, ahead of their Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against India (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: With their sights set on the world group berth, heavyweights Spain landed here on Monday morning with their 20-member team led by Rafael Nadal for the Davis Cup playoff tie against India this weekend.

Since 2004, Spain have won five Davis Cup titles and the last one came in 2011. Nadal & Co. are eager for another crown and that “motivated” the team to travel full strength and they are now in no mood to let go of the opportunity.

 

“I am representing my country and that’s always special motivation. There’s always confrontation when you are not playing at home, so difficult. India have a good team, it will be tough. They will be playing at home in front of home crowd in conditions they chose,” Nadal, who was drenched in sweat, said after his first practice session here.

“We have a lot of good players in the top 100, it’s tough for us not to be in the world group, so we are looking forward to coming back to the world group, and that’s the chance to win here, it’s not going to be easy. We need to be ready and play our best,” the 14-time Grand Slam champion added.

 

This is Nadal’s second visit to the country and he was impressed with the court and said he will take this tie “very seriously’. “(It is a) Very quite place. Good people and crowd. After a long trip it was a good practice session here. It feels good to be here again. The court is not very slow and not too fast. It is a great court to play good tennis,” said Nadal.

Spain landed here in the wee hours of Monday and within a couple of hours, the team — that boasts of 14-time Grand slam champion Nadal, the 13th-ranked David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez — were down to business. They practised under the watchful eyes of coach Conchita Martinez, who gave instructions in their native language.

 

The team practised for more than two hours at Court no. 1, where Nadal and Ferrer were engaged in some serious tennis. The softspoken tennis great was happy with the decision that the matches have been scheduled in the evening.
“It is very humid here. In these conditions, it is necessary to play in the evening and not in the day. The weather suits us,” he said.

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