Rafa Roundup: Return Of The King! Could Nadal Be Headed Back To No. 1?

Photo via Tennis Tuesday
Photo via Tennis Tuesday

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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.

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.”

“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.

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.

Getty Images
Getty Images

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…

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REMINDER: Nadal vs. Gojowczyk – What time does Rafa play? / A que hora juega Rafa?

3 comments

  1. There has never been a competitor quite like Rafa. His determination, his confidence, even after terrible injuries is super-human. He is a role model for every athlete–in every sport. I am so excited for his return. He’s the reason I (and many, many others) watch tennis!! VAM10S!!!

  2. Rafa never disappoints. He is a dedicated fighter. I have no doubt that he will give his all during this first tournament after an injury-related three month time out. I believe he’ll prevail! VAMOS, RAFA!!!

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