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Taipei, Sept. 30 (CNA) World No. 2 tennis star Rafael Nadal of Spain said Friday that tennis fans in Taiwan can expect quality ground strokes and long rallies -- and a Nadal victory -- in Saturday's exhibition match between him and compatriot David Ferrer.
On his first day in Taiwan, Nadal appeared quiet but relaxed at the press conference, which Ferrer did not attend due to a flight delay.
Stretching his body, tossing the microphone up and down and sometimes loosening his shoes during his 30-minute meeting with the media, the gentle 25-year-old said he was thrilled to be in Taiwan.
"For me, it's always a real pleasure to know new places," he said, adding that he was impressed with the local people's hospitality at the airport.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion and world No. 5 Ferrer were scheduled later Friday to coach 10 players from National Taiwan Sport University, where the Spaniards will also play each other in the exhibition match.
Looking ahead to the match with Ferrer, Nadal said he was anticipating a close showdown as both of them are baseliners who pride themselves on playing the ball deep to their opponents.
"It will be demanding physically and mentally," he said, but he assured the press that he will emerge victorious.
Apart from the match, Nadal said he appreciated Taiwan's being an enthusiastic sporting nation.
He praised Taiwan's tennis ace Lu Yen-hsun as "fantastic" and appeared interested in the performances of other high ranking Taiwanese sports stars, including baseball pitcher Chien-ming Wang and golfer Yani Tseng.
It is the third time this year that Taiwan has invited world-class tennis players to Taiwan for exhibitions.
In January, former world No. 1s Andre Agassi and Marat Safin played a series of exhibition matches in Taipei and Kaohsiung, while Russian tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva showcased their skills in Taipei last week.