Costa: Rafa ‘worried about physical state’
Originally published on: 05/03/10 15:52
Tournament organisers have been left frustrated this month after a spate of injuries to top ranked players.
Andy Murray pulled out of Marseille having not returned to full fitness after his Melbourne exploits, Roger Federer was ordered to avoid competing in Dubai because of a lung infection, while Juan Martin del Potro (wrist) and Andy Roddick (arm) are also missing.
But despite organisers disappointment at the absence of the Tour’s major stars, their anguish does not come close to that of Rafael Nadal, who is particularly concerned about his constant injury problems according to Spanish Davis Cup Captain Albert Costa.
Nadal suffered a small knee tear while two sets and 3-0 down against Britain’s Andy Murray in the quarter-final of the Australian Open, ruling him out of action until the first Masters 1000 event of the season in Indian Wells.
As well as missing the chance to defend the points he earned for making the Rotterdam final last year, the new world No.3 has also been forced to skip Spain’s Davis Cup tie with Switzerland next week.
“He is worried about his physical state, but he’s working every day to get better,” Costa said of the Spanish talisman.
Plagued by injuries since November 2008 when tendinitis in his knees forced him out of Spain’s Davis Cup final win over Argentina, the 23-year-old suffered yet more trouble with his knees after failing to lift the French Open for the first time in five years last May.
“Until last year at Roland Garros and the problems, he had achieved everything,” Costa said. “It’s normal, after 22 years and winning everything, to have some down time.”
Nadal hopes to return fighting fit in order to defend the title he picked up in California last year, beating three top ten players – del Potro, Roddick and Murray – on the way to victory.
In the Spaniard’s absence from Davis Cup duty next week, Costa has named a new look team. Fernando Verdasco is also sidelined by injury and Feliciano Lopez has been left out despite picking up a second career title in Johannesburg earlier this month.
Representing Spain in their place – at the 11,000-capacity bullring in the northern city of Logrono – will be former top-ranked player Juan Carlos Ferrero (who has already picked up two clay court titles this year), David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and doubles world No.25 Marcel Granollers.