Jan 5 press roundup

Some reporters are still talking about Saturday’s match, but a few are on the ball…

Nadal sparkles in doubles victory

“I was happy to finally play with Marc, as we often play golf or go fishing together but we had never played together in doubles. I had asked him a few years ago in Spain but he had refused,” said Nadal after the 6-3, 6-3 win.

“I am happy to be back in Doha, the court is better than the last time I played and the tournament has improved a lot,” he added.

Nadal opens season on Tuesday in Doha

Rafael Nadal will begin his 2009 ATP campaign on Tuesday afternoon at the Qatar Open in Doha. His first-round opponent is veteran Frenchman Fabrice Santoro.

On Tennis: Great opening show in Abu Dahbi

The good news for Nadal was that his body held up. Out with a knee injury at the end of last season, he showed no ill effects in his two matches. He was also more aggressive on the hard court, standing closer to the baseline rather than far behind it.

New-look Nadal loses to Murray

Andre Agassi, who wore wild colours (including fuchsia), jeans shorts and rakish bandanas in the early years of his career, finished it in the blandest white-and-black outfits imaginable.

Could a similar transition be happening with Rafael Nadal, 22, the swashbuckling Spaniard whose bronzed biceps in his sleeveless Nike tops have become his trademark?