Millennium Post

Lendl says too early to judge Nadal

Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendlon Monday welcomed Rafael Nadal back from a long injury layoff, but said it was too early to judge whether the 11-time Grand Slam winner would be at his best.

The Spaniard swept to a straight sets victory over countryman David Ferrer at the Mexican Open on Saturday, his second title in three events since returning from a seven-month absence with a left-knee injury.

The so-called ‘Big Four’ Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Nadal  are set to be reunited at the Indian Wells Masters later this week, but Lendl cautioned against reading too much into the 26-year-old’s comeback wins. ‘He’s a great champion and it’s always sad when someone like that gets injured and cannot play. So it’s great to have him back,’ Lendl said.

‘As far as how it affects anyone’s chances -- well he’s a great competitor. It’s a little bit early to judge. But there are many more tournaments to come before the French (Open) and before Wimbledon. ‘You cannot underestimate Roger, Novak is playing well, and Rafa  we’ll see.’

Lendl said it would be tough for players outside the Big Four, to win a major this year. ‘The problem anybody has outside of the top four is that they have to beat three, or if not three then at least two (of the Big Four). ‘They have to beat somebody in the quarter-finals then semi-finals then finals for a slam.
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