- 28 Aug 2019
Rafael Nadal revealed he had offered his boat to Andy Murray while the Brit plays at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Mallorca.
Murray’s singles comeback is gathering pace and he moved into the last 16 at the Rafa Nadal Open on Tuesday.
Nadal, meanwhile, eased past John Millman to improve to 15-0 in first-round matches at the US Open.
The Spaniard said he had been in touch with Murray to offer any help, and the use of his boat, while he plays in Mallorca.
“I think he used it already in the past, no? I just text him when I knew that he was going to play at the academy,” Nadal told a news conference.
“I just text him a couple of days ago saying, ‘if you need anything, just let me know. You want to go out with the boat or anything, I can help you, just let me know’.
“For us in the academy, it is great news that he’s there, of course. I saw the court yesterday where he was playing, it was full crowded. I think it’s great for him, great for us.
“For me personally, as I said a couple of times, happy for him. Honestly he did a lot of things to try to be back on court and keep playing tennis.
“The decision to go and play a Challenger is because he feels well, my feeling, the way that I see it. If you don’t feel it very well, you play normal tour and just let’s see how it goes.
“If one player like Andy is able to go and play a Challenger it’s because physically he feels well and he wants to play matches.”
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— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) August 28, 2019
Nadal crushed Millman 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the US Open first round on a day that saw multiple upsets in his half of the draw.
Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov and Roberto Bautista Agut all made first-round exits.
“That’s tennis. That’s all the reaction I can say, no?” said Nadal, who will face Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round.
“When you start the tournament, you have difficult opponents in front. You need to go on court and respect every single opponent.
“I went on court today against a tough opponent knowing that I need to play well to win. If you play bad, you can lose.
“Tsitsipas had a very tough first round. Of course, Karen is a surprise. I think Thiem have been very sick for the last 10 days. I feel very sorry for him.
“Roberto was a surprise. Honestly, I’m very sad for him.”