David Ferrer believes his compatriot Rafael Nadal is not done playing tennis yet and is still in line to win another Grand Slam at the French Open despite an early exit in Melbourne.
Ferrer, who lost to Andy Murray in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Australian Open, is convinced Nadal will still rise to the occasion when the 14-time Grand Slam champ plays on his favourite clay court at Roland Garros in May. The world No. 8 said he has “no doubt” Nadal will get back to the top of the tennis world, which could start in the second Grand Slam event of the year.
Nadal exited this year’s Australian Open early after a stunning loss in the hands of fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. The two took each other to the limit seven years ago in an Australian Open semifinal match that lasted for five hours and 14 minutes, which Nadal won. This year’s tournament went for nearly as long, but after another epic five-set match, it was Verdasco who prevailed against the “King of Clay.”
Despite the loss, Nadal is upbeat about getting a shot at redemption at the coming tournaments. Nadal, who showed a glimpse of his elite form in last year’s China Open, Swiss Indoors, and ATP World Tour Finals, said he was prepared to put his Australian Open failure behind and start anew at the Rio Open on Feb. 15.
“I’m going to try to continue this way and put the Verdasco match behind me,” Nadal told El Español, reports ATP’s official website. “It’s a difficult defeat at the moment, but in a few weeks I’ll be competing again, I have to keep up the hard work to be ready.”