Rafa Nadal: A work in progress.

Written by: on 15th February 2013
Print This Post Print This Post
BRAZILIAN TENNIS OPEN TOURNAMENT
Rafa Nadal: A work in progress.

epa03584648 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Brazilian Joao Souza at the Brazil Tennis Open tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 14 February 2013. EPA/SEBASTIAO MOREIRA  |

The funny half-smile is back, along with the glistening biceps, chainsaw forehands and 1000 yard stare. Nadal is back and he means business – but this is no get rich quick scheme, he’s no stack ‘em high sell ‘em cheap market trader looking for a fast buck, Nadal is back in serious business – and that means steady and measured progress leading up to the French Open. What else? Nothing less will do for one of the most driven men in professional sports today.

Plenty of Nadal fans expected him to win the Chile Open in Vina del Mar upon his return, and plenty of Djokovic and Federer fans scoffed when he didn’t. But for those with a more long-term view, the thing of most importance coming out of that tournament was simple minutes on court. Personally, I didn’t expect him to reach the final, I expected him to perhaps win a few rounds and then having given himself a competitive work-out, withdraw in one way or another. Of course having reached the final, it was disappointing for him not to win it, but all in all it was a satisfactory return to action for the Spanish King of clay.

Although Nadal stated after the event that he did feel some pain in his knee, that’s been the case for many years and whilst “pain-free” would be the best possible declaration from him, as it is it’s just his body giving him feedback. He’s had surgery and been out for a long, long time.

What was encouraging was the see that the old adage “form is temporary, class is permanent” still rings true, there were enough glimpses of “old-Nadal” to leave his fans aching for more. He’s now withdrawn from the doubles draw at the Brazil Open, that can be interpreted either of two ways. Firstly, he could be struggling. Secondly, he feels he’s done enough soft minutes to be able to scrap the doubles route and focus on finding his singles form again. He’s still got the class, but form will take a while to come back – a certain amount of ring-rustiness is to be expected. In fact he probably reached the Vina del Mar final on class alone, and just happened to  meet a man playing the match of his life in the shape of Horacio Zeballos – just as he did in his last match before the injury lay off against Lukas Rosol.

The titles will come, almost inevitably they will come, but Rafa’s rehabilitation is not complete, he will take at least another few months to get back to his imperious best. If he keeps himself fit and gets enough competitive minutes on clay, can anybody stop him going for a twelfth slam at Roland Garros?

 

Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,





10sBalls Top Stories

In Case You Missed It

WTA – LADIES TENNIS FROM RIO DE JANEIRO PREVIEW & GLOBAL CHICK’S THERE & ORDER OF PLAY thumbnail

WTA – LADIES TENNIS FROM RIO DE JANEIRO PREVIEW & GLOBAL CHICK’S THERE & ORDER OF PLAY

Click here to see the tennis updates from the Rio Open in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
MEN’S TENNIS NEWS & TENNIS RESULTS & MORE: NISHIKORI WINS MEMPHIS & STAN THE MAN WAWRINKA WINS ROTTERDAM thumbnail

MEN’S TENNIS NEWS & TENNIS RESULTS & MORE: NISHIKORI WINS MEMPHIS & STAN THE MAN WAWRINKA WINS ROTTERDAM

Kei Nishikori had struggled all the way to the final here. Kevin Anderson had looked very solid. So what happened come the final? Nishikori was in pretty complete charge.
WTA – DUBAI LADIES TENNIS REPORT: PENNETTA SURVIVES FIRST ROUND SCARE, BUT FLIPKENS LOSES IN THREE thumbnail

WTA – DUBAI LADIES TENNIS REPORT: PENNETTA SURVIVES FIRST ROUND SCARE, BUT FLIPKENS LOSES IN THREE

Check out the latest tennis updates on the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
WOMEN’S TENNIS WTA @ PATTAYA CITY; HANTUCHOVA TRUMPS TOMLJANOVIC IN FINAL thumbnail

WOMEN’S TENNIS WTA @ PATTAYA CITY; HANTUCHOVA TRUMPS TOMLJANOVIC IN FINAL

Click here to see the women's tennis results from the PTT Thailand Open in Pattaya, Thailand.
EPA PHOTO GALLERY FROM MEMPHIS & ROTTERDAM, ALEJANDRO’S PICKS thumbnail

EPA PHOTO GALLERY FROM MEMPHIS & ROTTERDAM, ALEJANDRO’S PICKS

Click here to check out the latest photos from the Memphis Open & Rotterdam tennis tournaments .