Fans who turned up to watch Rafael Nadal at Spain's Davis Cup tie against India were disappointed after he pulled out at the last minute. It appears the reason was a wrist injury and not the stomach bug touted earlier, although it is not serious enough and Rafa may be in action at the men's doubles.
In a tie expected to be an otherwise boring and one-sided encounter, Rafael Nadal's presence had given fans something to cheer. Slated to face Ramkumar Ramanathan in the first match of the tie yesterday, Rafael Nadal withdrew at the last moment. It was reported that a stomach bug had kept the Spaniard away, an understandable reason for foreign players on any Indian tour. But, his replacement Feliciano Lopez has revealed that it was rather Nadal's long-standing wrist injury that flared up yesterday.
Lopez, who defeated Ramkumar Ramanathan in four sets, said, "We knew during the week that I might play the tie instead of Rafa as he was not 100 per cent sure if he will be up to for the tie. We spoke last night about it and till the last moment he was not 100 per cent sure. So I had an idea so it was not bothering me," reported PTI.
"Rafa has been struggling with his wrist for last 2-3 months, he did not want to take a risk. We talked with the captain and decided it was the right decision that I should play. There is a good chance that he might play tomorrow either with Marc or with me,” he added.
However, the French Open doubles champion said it was nothing serious and Nadal should probably play in the doubles event coming up.
Rafa is okay, nothing serious. He did not have any stomach upset. He was playing in the US Open with the same wrist issue. It is getting better and better but still it is sometimes painful. We still have two days of competition. So he might play one of these days.
Lopez talked about the match and said, "I won two sets and then felt tired and lost the third but I was lucky to get an early break in the fourth. After that, everything started getting easy for me.”
However, he reserved some praise for his opponent Ramkumar and his “big heart” saying, "He has a lot of potential and he can improve in many areas. He is a great guy with a big heart. He has been training in Spain and it is good for India to have a developing player like him."
India's Ramkumar had to take a medical time-out and was stretchered for a while, but he called it just a “simple catch”. Asked about how he prepared for the last-minute change in the opponent, Ramkumar said: "It didn't change my strategy. It is the same. They are all top 50 players. But to play against Nadal would have been really great,” reported PTI.
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