Now fans can't wait to see another emerging star to enter the stage in an Alfa Romeo in Friday's free training session.
The Real Madrid star, who wore the captain's armband under the rotating leadership policy of manager Tite, said the team needed more time to gel following several changes to the starting eleven.
Jepchirchir, 27, made a return to the Kenyan national team after blowing away a star-studded field to win her maiden world title at the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff. She will be looking to recapture her crown in Poland when she leads a Kenyan squad comprising former world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei, Dorcas Jepchumba, Brilliant Jepkorir and Rosemary Wanjiru.
"Definitely eight years ago I was young, I was already won my Wimbledon title, and I was kind of favorite and played and I lost to Maria, which she won the tournament. So for me, that time was a lot of pressure on me, and even I didn't play like the best on clay," the two-time Grand Slam winner added.
"The players are finding their rhythm on the field, but they have yet to hit their best form to ensure a victory over South Korea next February," he said. "They need to further improve their techniques, coordination and tactics."
The Spanish go into the match on the back of a 0-0 draw in a friendly away to Portugal, which was far more entertaining than the scoreline suggests, and in which players such as Adama Traore and Dani Olmo showed the range of resources available to coach Luis Enrique.
Nadal has won 99 matches in the clay major, which means he had the chance to win the title with a record 100 Roland Garros victory on Sunday. Enditem
Wang Qiuyi pocketed a game-high 20 points for Fujian, who also got help from Wei Chu-yun's 19 and Sun Mengzhu's 13.
The 56-game regular season and four-game final series will be played between November 12 and December 20 in three northern Queensland cities, Cairns, Mackay and Townsville.
"I am taking it year by year and we have just started a new season: I hope I can last a long time in the national team," he commented.
The Real Madrid player heaped praise on Peru, who he said would test the five-time world champions, despite the absence of their captain and all-time leading scorer Paolo Guerrero because of a knee injury.