The last time Rafael Nadal came back from a long-term layoff, he enjoyed one of the finest seasons of an outstanding career — reaching nine consecutive finals on his return from a knee injury, and winning both the French and U.S. Open grand slams in 2013. On Tuesday, the Spaniard took to the court for the first time in three months and looked as though he had never been away as he blitzed past Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the China Open.
- Rafael Nadal cruises in first match since Wimbledon (via SI.com)
He needed just 77 minutes to notch his 13th consecutive win over Gasquet. Most importantly, Nadal said his wrist was near 100 percent. “In general I have to be happy the way that I played, no? Three months without a match, winning against a player who is a good player like Richard, is a very positive comeback for me. More important than win, lose, is spend time on court.”
- Nadal Content With ‘Very Positive Comeback’ (via ATP World Tour)
“The draws are very hard,” continued the left-hander. “[There are] very difficult players. Every single round is so tough. Every victory is very important for me. It’s very positive. At the moment I don’t aspire to win tournaments here in Asia. I go day by day. I am trying my best in every practice session, in every match, and let’s see how far I can go.“
- Rafa’s Return (via Tennis Tuesday)
Could Nadal actually finish the year No. 1? It’s probably unlikely—but still possible, in a season without one truly dominant player. Perhaps the elusive year-end championship serves as motivation at this stage of the season—Nadal has 1,000 points to defend at the ATP World Tour Finals, after reaching the final in 2013. He also reached the semifinals in both Shanghai and Paris last year. It may seem like Nadal is asking for trouble at these tournaments, but throughout his career, he’s often struck when you least expected it.
- Por Nadal no pasa el tiempo (via El Pais)
Tras tres meses sin competir por una lesión en la muñeca derecha, Rafael Nadal volvió a las pistas arrollando por 6-4 y 6-0 a Richard Gasquet en el torneo de Pekín. Más allá del tradicional desequilibrio del cruce (el español ya domina 13-0 el cara a cara), el campeón de 14 grandes dejó pistas muy positivas para sus intereses…
- Rafael Nadal makes winning comeback at the China Open
- Rafael Nadal attends Li Na’s retirement ceremony in Beijing
- Rafael Nadal’s Hot Shot Against Richard Gasquet
- Interview with Rafael Nadal – China Open 2014 – Round 1
- Tuesday Highlights: ATP Beijing (via Tennis TV)
- Li Na’s Sentimental Farewell In Beijing (via WTA)