Published November 20, 2014
By Sonia Oxley
LONDON (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal swapped tennis balls for golf balls as he prepared to defend his Wimbledon crown by playing a few rounds and drawing inspiration from Rory McIlroy's exploits in the U.S. Open this week.
The Spaniard has been glued to the television watching McIlroy take a runaway lead and in between gearing up for his opening match at the All England Club on Monday, Nadal plans to cheer on the British golfer in Sunday's final round.
"For sure he is an inspiration. I admire him a lot."
Nadal's warm-up for the grasscourt grand slam was cut short by a quarter-final exit at Queen's Club this month, allowing him to squeeze in a trip home to Majorca to recharge his batteries and hone his own skills with the small white ball.
"I've played fantastic rounds of golf," he said when asked how he had used his time off.
"(The) best two weeks of my life in Majorca ... I spent the weekend with friends, family, relaxing a little bit. I didn't spend a weekend at home since the Davis Cup against Belgium in February, so I needed it."
"Last year was, in my opinion, very impossible to repeat: three grand slams in a row," said the 25-year-old, who won the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in succession in 2010.
"I think I'm a more complete player than a few years ago, I am sure on that ... But being a better player doesn't mean that you going to win more. I don't know if I will win more than a few years ago."
(Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by Justin Palmer)