Sunday, January 5, 2014

QATAR OPEN: Saturday Diary - Rafa waiting for Murray's call

 Image via Getty

The competition at the top in tennis may reach uber heights on the court but it never fails to amaze me how friendly the players are with each other off it – the ATP players that is (Serena and Sharapova are bucking that trend in the WTA tour).

The Australian Open is barely a week away and Rafael Nadal says he’s trying to schedule a practice with Andy Murray, one of his main rivals, in Melbourne.

“I am waiting the message of Dani (Vallverdu, Murray’s hitting partner) to practice.That's the real thing,” Nadal told us laughing. “I talked to him in Abu Dhabi last week, and I talked to him yesterday before he left. But he didn't know yet the days that he's practicing, that he's playing in Kooyong. So I'm waiting his message to confirm what day we are going to practice. 

“No, seriously, I don't see the competition that crazy way, no? I have a good relationship with Andy, and I'm always happy to practice with the good people and good players.” 

Meanwhile, things got more interesting in the media centre on finals day here as seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander made an appearance. The Swedish legend is in town shooting an episode of Mats Point for Eurosport and when asked if he plans on following the suit of his fellow 80’s stars Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg and dabble into the world of coaching again Wilander was quick to say: “No. There’s nothing I can help any of the top players with, there’s nothing they want from my game.”

Wilander said he can’t imagine any of the young players to upset the tennis order this season and when asked about where he sees Bernard Tomic is at the Swede said: “I don’t know, where is he? His brain just has to click in - find the right… ‘okay there it is, now I’m focused’. Who knows, maybe it’s fast cars, who knows? Something that inspires him to put his best foot forward every day.”

All the legends seem to be welcoming the notion of faster surfaces around the tour and Wilander is no different. He seemed happy to learn that the courts in Australia are reportedly quicker this season saying: “Oh nice, is that Lleyton (Hewitt)? I’m sure it is, and (Pat) Rafter. It’s better for us, it’s about time.”

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