Tuesday, May 26, 2015Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rafa's aura may take time to return, says Murray

Published on Feb 5, 2013 7:08 AM
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal hits a return as his uncle and coach Tony Nadal looks on during a training session at country club Las Salinas in Vina del Mar City, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, February 3, 2013. Patience will have to be a virtue for Nadal when the former world number one makes his return to tennis after a seven-month injury absence at next week's Chilean Open. The 26-year-old Spanish left-hander has been out of action with a knee problem since losing to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - The aura Rafa Nadal usually carries on court may take a while to return when the Spaniard finally begins his comeback in Chile this week, according to world number three Andy Murray.

Injury-hit Nadal has not played a match since a shock defeat by outsider Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon last June but will test his suspect knee in Vina del Mar on Wednesday when he takes on Argentine Guido Pella or a qualifier in the claycourt event.

World No. 92 Pella is the kind of player usually trampled into the dirt by the 11-times grand slam champion but Murray believes Nadal could be vulnerable until he gets up to speed.

"He might not have the same (aura) straight away and you would expect people in the first few months while he is not back to his highest level and think they could possibly upset him,"Murray told reporters at London's Queen's Club.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!