epa03565780 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal gives a press conference on occcasion of a training session in Vina del Mar, Chile, 02 February 2013. Nadal is in this country to take part at the ATP Vinal del Mar, running between 04 and 10 February 2013, after seven months out of competition due to a knee injury. EPA/HUMBERTO GOMEZ |
Rafael Nadal could not be happier with his comeback to tennis after more than seven months away with a knee injury. The Spaniard who now stands fifth in the world knows he will have a battle to rise again in the rankings but is confident that with time and matches he can again achieve his world-beating form.
“I feel relieved and joyful, that’s certain,” the former No. 1 told France’s L’Equipe in Vina del Mar on the Chilean Pacific coast where he is playing an ATP event for the first times since a Wimbledon loss last June 28. “The theme of the moment is patience.
“I need to take it step by step and accept that I’m not going to be at my maximum level right away. I haven’t played in seven months. If I’m not humble, it’s not going to work. I’m not afraid because I know in what state my knee is in.”
Nadal, who is by now well acquainted with doctors’ surgeries and waiting rooms, said that he is confident that his dodgy left knee is coming back to full strength. “For three weeks, all the tests I have undergone have shown perfect results.
“The truth is that my left knee is in fantastic shape compared with the other one (laughs). I know now that if I run, I won’t risk torn tendons. That’s “importantissime”. The doctors have promised me that. So, it’s alright, no anxiety. Even if the tendon still gives me pain.”
Nadal is working slowly on returning to his lethal best by the time of the French Open in three months as he bids for an unprecedented eighth title at the Grand Slam that he has dominated. “Doctors tell me the (knee) pain should be gone by the end of February. I will regain my normal mobility on court. I just need to give my patellar tendon time to get used to intense efforts.
Nadal described his particular pain to the esteemed French sports daily, “I could feel it in the morning while getting up and in the afternoon while I’m eating or while hitting a backhand. My first two days in Chili were difficult: I was feeling a lot of pain and I didn’t have one good training session.
“Once I had pain nine days out of 10, then eight out of 10 and it’s getting less and less….But, pain or not, the overwhelming feeling is the joy of being here, to train with the pros, to have a match, to play, to feel the competition.”
Actually, there are no tournaments in Los Angeles anymore that afford the chance to earn ATP or WTA points. Carson is an independent incorporated city, but at least it is in Los Angeles county and we think of it as part of Los Angeles. This coming week’s (qualis start Sunday, July 13) is the USTA PLAYER DEVELOPMENT WOMEN'S $50,000 CLASSIC.
Two-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will reunite with winning 2008 French Open mixed doubles partner Bob Bryan this Saturday at the popular V-Grid Tennis Fest presented by Alexander Cadillac and Esurance and featuring Mike and Bob Bryan.
The Western & Southern Open announced on Monday its 2014 player field. As a mandatory Masters 1000 event on the ATP World Tour, every one of the top 43 men in the rankings is signed up. The top 39 women are all on the entry list for what is a Premier 5 WTA tournament.
I got to make it down to the USTA PLAYER DEVELOPMENT WOMEN'S $50,000 CLASSIC at the Stub Hub Center in Carson yesterday. I wanted to see the second round qualifying match of one of my former students, Danielle Lao. I was a little late and they got off to a quick start and when I arrived Danielle seemed to have the situation well in hand...