Rafa Roundup: My knees are well and so is my tennis, says Nadal

Photo: Mercedes Cup
Photo: Mercedes Cup

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Rafael Nadal wasted little time returning to the winners’ circle in Stuttgart, claiming his third MercedesCup title with a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Viktor Troicki on Sunday. … “At this point of the season, every victory is important and every title means a lot to me. I’m happy for that… Thank you very much for all the support here in Stuttgart.”

“It’s been a tough couple of years playing on grass, with problems in my knees,” said Nadal, who last year lost his opening match at another German grass-court event in Halle and was beaten by young Australian Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round at Wimbledon. “Today I’m ready to play again on grass, my knees are well and so is my tennis, so I’m very happy.”

It is Nadal’s first grass-court crown since he beat Tomas Berdych to win the 2010 Wimbledon. Playing his first final on grass since he lost the 2011 Wimbledon final, Nadal raised his record to 4-3 in grass-court finals. … The nine-time Roland Garros champion got stronger as the tournament progressed to triumph in the tournament’s debut as a grass-court event. Nadal was broken just three times in four matches.

“It is an important week for me, claiming a title on grass after a long time. My knees are healthy and I am able to play good tennis the last couple of months. I am very happy to be back with the trophy in my hands. That’s confidence and extra energy,” Nadal told after lifting his first trophy on grass since winning in Wimbledon in 2010 and added that he is leaving for Queens on tonight. “I am not talking about Wimbledon right now. I am hoping for another good week in Queens now.”

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Viktor Troicki to win Stuttgart title

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