As the Spanish team trained, led by the marquee player in Rafael Nadal practising with his compatriot David Ferrer in the Delhi humidity, number of kids watched Nadal flex his muscles in awe. He hit his trademark whipping forehand while the number 13 th ranked Ferrer slugged it out as he always does.
On Tuesday, the entire Spanish team practiced and they hit the courts early morning at the DLTA Complex. Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez both had a good session. But it is no question that the reason there is so much chatter about this World Group Play-off Davis Cup contest is the 14-time Grand Slam winner Nadal.
With a depleted India squad, hurt by injuries to Yuki Bhambri, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna; and pulling out of Purav Raja and Divij Sharan due to lack of assurance of a definite playing start, Spain are overwhelming favourite even if they weren’t already.
And when a team of players ranked above top 100 in the world lands in your country, no one would like to miss on the chance to watch them in action. Outside Gate 1 of the RK Khanna Stadium, there are hopefuls standing in groups waiting for those passes that have been made available for free. But there are none forthcoming. Kids eager to see Nadal play in the open arena of Delhi as against the indoor facilities of the Indira Gandhi Stadium during the Indian Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
This waiting and patience game continues up until the evening even after both Leander Paes and Saketh Myneni have left post their doubles workout. When enquired, it was confirmed that still a few passes up for grabs for the tie that gets underway on Friday at an unconventional timing of 5 o’clock.
The sales for the passes – kept free in order to draw maximum crowd – began on Sunday and continues every day from 11 AM till 1 PM.