30 Oct 06 · Sportec.es
Nadal confident he will recover in time to play in Shanghai
Mallorcan tennis player Rafael Nadal demonstrated this Monday that he was confident about recovering in time from a small tear (microrrotura fibrilar de 4mm) in his abdominal muscles to be able to contest the Masters Cup in Shanghai, 12-19 November.
After informing the organizers of the Masters Paris-Bercy that he could not compete in the French capital because of the injury he sustained last week, Nadal appeared before the media today in Barcelona to explain how he felt and confirm that he felt "better" and "confident" about playing in Shanghai, a tournament he already missed last year because of a problem with his ankle.
"I've had tests done in Mallorca, Paris and Barcelona, and each one has given better results, so I'm confident I'll be fit for Shanghai," stated Nadal, who will remain in Barcelona for one more day to have treatment with ice and medication to prevent any swelling.
The player from Manacor injured himself while training last week. "I started to feel it on Thursday, especially when I served, but at first I thought it was only cramp, but on Saturday morning I felt faint and that's why we did a scan," commented Nadal, aware that "with this type of injury you have to be careful that it doesn't get more serious."
Of the top ATP players only Federer, Nadal, Ljubicic and Roddick have secured their ticket to Shanghai, so there are still four places left to be decided in Paris. [3 in fact because Davydenko has also qualified.]
Tommy Robredo has the chance of getting one of them: "the good thing is that it depends on him alone, if he wins one or two games in Paris, he could be in Shanghai," reckoned Nadal.
The world number two, who plans to travel to the Chinese city to prepare for the Masters Cup next Tuesday, will be back training in three days
to prepare for the last big tournament of the year and arrive at the Australian Open "with better guarantees and aiming really high".
Nadal also explained that he hoped the changes he had been trying to introduce into his game, especially since the summer - "a more powerful serve, a more aggressive forehand" - , would soon be translated into victories."
"But you never can tell because sport is not an exact science. Perhaps it's not noticeable, but I think I'm at a good level and I'm confident I'll begin to demonstrate that in Shanghai," he said.
The double Roland Garros champion reflected on the early age at which he had begun to win tournaments, which to a certain extent had prevented him from refining some aspects of his game, because "when you start winning so young, you don't develop so much because you concentrate on winning matches and tournaments."
"Federer, for example, didn't begin winning so soon, and he went on improving without paying too much attention to the results," he cited as an example.
The Mallorcan player also admitted that the world number one is "on a level above the rest" of the players and stated that "his results practically make him the best player ever."