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Nadal will be match-fit by January, hopes Feliciano Lopez

PTI 21 Nov 2014, 23:20:01 PM IST

Bengaluru: Spanish World No 14 Feliciano Lopez is hopeful that compatriot Rafael Nadal will be fit by January before the Australian Open starts.

"He has had surgery but is getting better and should be training in December, and hopefully in January, he will be ready to compete again," Lopez told told PTI here today.

Lopez said he has had a wonderful relationship with Nadal, but felt sorry he could not play for almost half the year.

"We are very close. Good friends and I feel very sorry because he couldn't play for almost half of the year," he said.

"We are missing him a lot because he is one of the guys who makes tennis look big and tennis in general needs Rafa," said Lopez.

Lopez said Spain is going to have a tough time after the current generation of players are gone and the onus lies on the Federation to make young guys successful.

"In tennis, we are in for a tough time after our generation and I think we have to work together to make young guys successful and the Federation has the responsibility to do that," he said.

"Spain has been one of the most successful sporting nation in the last 15 years as we have won in almost every major sport including Football World Cup and Euro Cup," Lopez said.

"Our sport was successful in the last 10-15 years. We won almost in every sport. We won WC in soccer, we won the European Cup twice. We were very good in basketball and tennis. This is not normal," he said said.