Rafael Nadal is in Acapulco thousands of miles away but that doesn’t mean he was not a hot topic of discussion here in Dubai with the players.
His coach and uncle Toni Nadal had announced earlier this month that he will no longer travel with Rafa next season, which would put an end to a remarkable journey for them together since the world No6 was a child.
Andy Murray is a good friend of Rafa’s and practices frequently with the Spaniard.
He admits that he was surprised by Toni’s announcement just like the rest of us.
“Obviously yes, for sure, everyone was surprised. But it’s not easy travelling on the tour for so many years,” said Murray in Dubai.
“I know he hates flying, I’ve been on a couple of planes with him and I know he doesn’t enjoy the travelling. Rafa is 31 this year and he was on the tour since he was 16, so it’s been 15 years of travelling on the tour and a lot of time before that as well.
“I think it’s quite understandable if maybe he wants to do something else. He has great people working with him with Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig so I’m sure Rafa will be fine. But everyone I think everyone obviously was a bit surprised. You expected them to always be together but I think it’s very understandable.”
All hail King Federer
Meanwhile, the Roger Federer fanatics were all over the Aviation Club and of course, the most loyal one of all, Jane Liardon, was in attendance for the Swiss’ first round win over Benoit Paire.
Liardon has attended every Federer match for the past 12 years here and always sits at the same spot, in the first row behind the baseline.
Others roaming around the grounds were carrying all sorts of RF banners including one that read: “35 is the new 18.”
That’s definitely something we can get behind ourselves!