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Beyond the Baseline

Rafael Nadal, Juan Monaco enjoy some R&R in Mallorca

Rafael Nadal, Juan Monaco (Facebook)

You never know how much your co-workers care about you until you're gone. Rafael Nadal hasn't seen much of his ATP brethren since taking time off the ATP Tour to rehabilitate his ailing knees, but he finally got a visitor this week, in the form of his good buddy Juan Monaco. The No. 10 ranked Argentine lost in the second round of Shanghai and quickly boarded a plane to Mallorca, Spain to pay a visit to Nadal.

What have the two been doing? Well according to their Facebook and Twitter pages, it looks like Monaco has been tagging along on Rafa's workouts, swimming, stretching and throwing in the occasional round of golf. Sounds like a pretty great vacation to me.

In fact, the rest may be what Monaco needs as he tries to make a late season push to qualify, either directly or as an alternate, for the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Monaco is 955 points out of the No. 8 spot in the Race rankings, but Nadal's participation in London is unlikely. That means the No. 9 player in the Race to London should qualify directly, and the Nos. 10 and 11 spots open for alternates.

Monaco currently sits at No. 12 in the Race and less than 500 points behind Janko Tipsarevic, the man currently holding the No. 9 spot. Deep runs at both next week's Valencia Open and the Paris Masters, and Rafa's best buddy should be able to buy his Eurostar ticket to London.
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