David Ferrer, the other Spanish player in the Top 10 in the ATP rankings, believes Rafael Nadal is not yet done in the sport and believes his compatriot is still one of the favorites to win the 2016 French Open later this year.
“[Rafael Nadal] is not done yet.” Ferrer declared in an interview with cope.es. “There isn’t any need to bury him in advance, especially when he’s No. 5 in the world.”
Ferrer said that it was a “tough blow” losing in a first round in a Grand Slam tournament but credited Verdasco for having a “fantastic day” when the latter upset Nadal, 7-6 (6) 4-6 3-6 7-6 (4) 7-2 in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open just recently.
What made it worse for Nadal was that he was leading two sets to one and had the chance to finish off Verdasco in the fourth set tiebreaker but completely collapsed in the fourth and fifth sets.
Meanwhile, rivals Roger Federer of Switzerland, Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia all played well in Melbourne and advanced to the deeper rounds of the tournament. Djokovic won in the championship match against Murray, 6-1 7-5 7-6 (3).
Ferrer added that he saw a prepared Nadal entering the 2016 Australian Open and had no doubts he was ready for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.
“Rafa was coming from playing very well, I had seen him in very good form. I played against him in Abu Dhabi and in Doha he also did a good tournament… and well it can happen. In the first rounds there are more nerves than usual, but I have no doubt Rafa will be at the top. In addition, Rafa’s had a very good off-season and physically I have seen him very fit,” Ferrer stated.
Ferrer was also adamant that Nadal would remain as one of the top contenders in Nadal’s favorite Grand Slam tournament, the French Open.
“Of course! How could you not? His game suits better to clay and he has more time there. Tennis has evolved and players are 10 cm taller and hit the ball harder, but on clay you still have the small margin,” Ferrer said when asked of Nadal’s chances in this year’s Roland Garros.
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