Rafael Nadal is in Chile, Ready to Return to the Tour
epa03517832 File -- File photo showing Spanish Rafael Nadal during his match against Swiss Roger Federer at Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 31 December 2011. The tournament organizers announced on 25 December 2012 that 'Rafael Nadal has been forced to make a last-minute withdrawal from the 2012 event due to a stomach virus,' and 'was advised by doctors not to travel or compete due to the illness.' Nadal has not played since June 2012, when he was eliminated in Wimbledon's 2nd round by Czech Lukas Rosol. He was supposed to come back after a successful knee injury rehab. EPA/ALI HAIDER |
Rafael Nadal flies to Chile to begin his comeback to tennis after more than seven months out with a knee injury ready to use a new racquet which he was at first loath to try.
The former No. 1, his ranking now down to fifth after his inactivity, will be playing in his Latin clay-court comeback with a Babolat’s Aeropro Drive racket, according to dpa. While Nadal was chilly towards the major change of sticks, he apparently bowed to the wishes of his coach and uncle, Toni.
“Uncle Toni put pressure on Rafa to change. If you want to be better, you have to take risks,” Eric Babolat, the owner French firm, told dpa. “I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but I’ll give it a try,” Babolat said Nadal usually tells his uncle-coach.
Babolat said the new weapon will give Nadal’s shots even more of the lethal spin which plays havoc with opponents. “He already has a lot of topspin, that but he wants more,” said Babolat.
And there are even more plans in the works: It’s possible that by the end of the season, the racquet model could be equipped with a chip which records the date on every shot it strikes, potentially a devastating statistical took for Team Nadal.
“It could become a habit, something usual after sport: sitting with your friends to compare each one’s technical data,” said Babolat, who is also hoping it can catch on in the consumer market.
Martina Hingis’s second comeback on the doubles court this summer has been high profile in terms of coverage but disappointing in terms of results. So at the age of 32, the one-time Swiss Miss is unsure whether she will compete again next year.
Winning Wimbledon and leading Britain back into the Davis Cup’s elite World Group comes with a price as Andy Murray has found out after the world no.3 was told he is unlikely to play again this year after agreeing to undergo ‘minor’ back surgery next week.
British up-and-comer Dan Evans is trying to take his tennis cues from established compatriot Andy Murray as the Liverpool youngster ranked 149 begins to try and scramble up the slippery slope of the ATP standings.
The Tennis Integrity Unit has a history of snaring Italian male players who have been guilty of breaking the sport’s anti-corruption code but now a woman has been found guilty on two charges of attempted match-fixing and 18 year-old Claudia Coppola, who this week attained a career high ranking of world no.