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Nadal in no mood to write off an ill Federer


Melbourne : Spaniard Rafael Nadal won’t be lulled into writing off World No.1 Roger Federer of Switzerland, who missed a week of pre-Australian Open training due to a stomach virus.

According to the World No.2 Nadal, a few light hits will be enough to propel the defending champion Federer back in the game to his lethal best.

“If Roger plays one match, two matches, that’s enough for him,” Nadal said Saturday, two days before the start of the first Grand Slam of the season.

“Normally he doesn’t have a lot of problems in the first rounds, so he can get the rhythm in these first two rounds. And later, that’s fine.”

The 21-year-old said that despite winning just one game in the Chennai Open final last weekend against Russian Mikhail Youzhny, he is “very happy” with his form.

“I was very tired in the Chennai Open final. I had that terrible semi-final, four-hour match,” Nadal recalled.

“I had less than 24 hours for recovery and went to sleep late because I finished the match late. It was tough to recover. Mikhail played good tennis, and he beat me very easily.”

Nadal said that despite a heavy training regime during holidays at his home in Mallorva, little has really changed in his game. “In one month, it’s impossible to improve a lot. But you can work to improve.”

Nadal hopes to improve his 2007 performance, where he reached the last eight here but was unimpressed by his game.

“Last year probably was worst year, I played bad tennis,” he said. “This year I am arriving well, practicing well. I had some matches in Chennai. So I hope will be fine for Monday.”