From Bleacher Reports:
By Clay Suttles (Correspondent) on February 3, 2013
Here are some excerpts:
Rafael Nadal‘s return to professional men’s singles tennis on Wednesday feels a lot like a one-man army invasion bearing down on a barricaded fortress. That is to say, if inside that fortress are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, masters of this breached province.
As the top three ranked men in the world prepare to assess the damage around their stronghold, the question they’re all thinking is obvious: Is the world No. 5 Nadal armed with heavy artillery or dual glow-in-the-dark water pistols?
If it were me, I wouldn’t take my chances, and I’d warmly accept Rafa back into the “fortress of the four.”
Nadal will be playing both singles and doubles when he takes to the court at the VTR Open in Chile this week, another move that suggests that he might not be feeling too many thwarting aches in his injury-prone joints as he warms up for the venue.
Here he’ll be matching up in the singles against players without the mechanisms to defeat him.
Nadal’s results in the doubles—partnering with World No. 12 Juan Monaco for his first match back to the tour on Tuesday—shouldn’t matter, as it won’t tell us too much about the state of his game.
But Rafa will command and overpower the singles field beginning on Wednesday. Nadal has long been one of the best in the business during his career at constant adaptation and improvement of his game in order to stay one step ahead of the field (think of that sole crown in New York at the 2010 U.S. Open, where he pumped up his service speed by 5-10 mph to add yet another weapon to his arsenal), but he won’t need too much of that early on.
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