Tue, Nov 20, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Rafael Nadal looks for a high in Malaysia after loss


World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is anxious to end his season on a high against Richard Gasquet at an exhibition in Kuala Lumpur after his Masters Cup thrashing by arch-rival Roger Federer.

The Spaniard plays a one-off match against the Frenchman today as part of Malaysia's 50th anniversary celebration of its independence from Britain.

"I've been looking forward to this for some time now as I have heard a lot of fantastic things about this great country, and look forward to experiencing some of the warmth and hospitality first hand," Nadal said.

"Hopefully, we can play out an unforgettable match in front of all the tennis-loving fans in Malaysia. Personally I will also want to end the season on a winning note," he said.

The 21-year-old clay court expert, who was hammered by eventual champion Federer in the Masters Cup semi-final in Shanghai on Saturday, has been troubled by tendinitis problems all season, but denies he is injured.

Gasquet, also 21, has risen to be No. 8 in the world with a Wimbledon semi-final this year signaling his arrival on the world stage.

He has revenge on his mind after losing to Nadal in Shanghai last week.

"This has been my best season by far and it will be fitting if I can end it with a victory over one of the world's best players," he said.

"I am also eager to set the record straight after losing to Rafael in Shanghai last week. Hopefully Malaysia will prove to be a luckier hunting ground for me."

On Thursday, Federer plays retired legend Pete Sampras, also part of Malaysia's independence celebrations.

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