Rafael Nadal’s return to action after a seven-month injury layoff will be the focus of attention in tennis in Chile this week.
Nadal has been careful to play down expectations. Yes, he still has some pain from his troublesome knees and no, he does not expect to immediately rediscover his old winning ways in his first tournament back at Vina del Mar in Chile.
“Of …I am here to try and give my best and hope that my knee comes through it,” he added. “Undoubtedly the clay surface is a little less aggressive on my knee,” he said. “My aim is to compete courageously and hopefully the knee will stand up to it…”
Vina del Mar is an essentially low-key tournament, but Nadal is looking to progressively rebuild his confidence in claycourt tournaments in Brazil and Mexico before heading up to the United States for the Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami on the less unforgiving (for his knees) hardcourt classics. After that beckon Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and on to Paris. Few of his peers seem to doubt his ability to get back to the top level and everyone agrees that his return will be good for the sport of tennis. “Can’t wait to see him back playing again...As far as I am concerned he will still be as difficult to beat as ever. ” said Federer.
“Needs time to return to his best”
Murray said that while Nadal may take his time in returning to form after such a long absence, he believes the Spaniard will again become a dominant force in the sport. “Expectation are high… But it could take a number of weeks and months before he’s back to his old self again. ” said World No.3 Murray.Agencies