Nadal happy to be in India

The Spanish team had originally opted to keep the interaction with the media for Tuesday, but Nadal was quite gracious to pose with the fans, sign autographs and field questions from the reporters.

Nadal said that the team expected a good match from the Indian team playing in front of the home crowd.   -  PTI

Rafael Nadal had a rigorous work out with David Ferrer for nearly two hours on Monday evening, but that did not stop him from extending the courtesy of a brief chat with the media.

The Spanish team had originally opted to keep the interaction with the media for Tuesday, but Nadal was quite gracious to pose with the fans, sign autographs and field questions from the reporters.

Sounding categorical that there was no reason why Spain should not be in the World Group, having so many top-100 players, Nadal said that the team expected a good match from the Indian team playing in front of the home crowd.

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‘’We have a lot of good players in the top-100. It is tough not to be in the World Group for us’’, said Nadal.

Quite happy with the conditions despite the strong humidity that saw the two players sweat profusely, Nadal said that ‘’it is necessary’’ when queried about playing the matches in the evening.

‘’The court is not very slow and not very fast. It is a good court to play’’, said Nadal, who had arrived with a strong team of 20-odd in the morning, in a ‘’long trip’’.

Having been associated with projects in the country the last few years, Nadal said that he was happy to be in India again with ‘’good people’’. He said that the kids from Anatapur who had visited the Capital during the IPTL, would not make the trip this time, as it was ‘’a little bit far away’’.

With ten players in the top-50, Spain was always going to be a tough opponent, irrespective of the composition of the team, and Nadal stressed that playing for the country was always a motivation.

‘’There is always confrontation when you are not playing at home. India has a good team and it will be tough. They will be playing in front of home crowd, in conditions that they chose’’, said Nadal, even though the choice of the team has been richly debated already.

‘’We are looking to come back into the World Group. We have a good chance here. We need to be ready’’, said Nadal, quite modest for one with 14 Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals. He has also played his part in guiding Spain to the Davis Cup trophy four times.

The training session was almost ‘’in camera’’, as very few were allowed inside, on the centre court, which is expected to be full during the tie, scheduled from September 14 to 16.

Watching the players of the calibre of Nadal and Ferrer training, with the Wimbledon champion and former world No.2 in the women’s circuit, captain Conchita Martinez cheerfully supervising the session, was in itself an education, but not availed, despite the ‘’home advantage’’.

The Indian team, with Leander Paes and Sumit Nagal joining the squad, had its training session under the floodlights after the Spaniards vacated the court. Of course, the Indian players had their training during the day in hot and humid conditions as well.