- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
- ‘127 Hours’ author Aron Lee Ralston, who amputated arm in canyon, arrested in Denver
- Men posing as cops break into home of former deputy
- Berkshire County eschews greenback for own currency — BerkShares
- Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
Nadal makes winning return after 7 months out
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE (AP) - Rafael Nadal wants to stop talking about the aching left knee that kept him away from the ATP Tour for just over seven months until his doubles victory Tuesday with Juan Monaco at a little-known clay court tournament in Chile.
Nadal and Monaco won easily in just over an hour at the VTR Open, defeating the Czech pair of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 6-2. Nadal’s practice sessions in Chile have lasted longer, and the first question centered on his knee _ a sore subject with the Spaniard.
The former No. 1-ranked Nadal addressed the question for several minutes, and then said he wanted to drop the subject and concentrate on tennis as he begins a buildup to what could be his eighth French Open title.
“The knee _ I said it when I got here. I would prefer not to keep talking about the topic,” Nadal said. “At the end of the day the doctors have said it’s OK. There is no risk of making it worse. My knee keeps hurting. But the fact I am playing here is a thing of joy.
“I am not 100 percent, I need some weeks,” he added. “If it hurts, it hurts and we’ll put up with it. I am here to play tennis, with or without pain. … I’m happy to have played an official game, although it was doubles.”
The Spaniard has been almost unbeatable on clay, winning 93 percent of his singles matches _ the highest percentage in the Open era.
Nadal has avoided surgery, and he suggested he hoped to continue on the same path.
“If one day it is worse, and one can’t compete at 100 percent, then it can’t be done,” he said.
Nadal showed quick reactions with a difficult backhand volley at the net to win the sixth game of the first set Tuesday. Nadal and Monaco broke in the next game, and Nadal held serve in the next to make it 5-3 en route to a first-set victory.
Nadal hit several powerful forehands at sharp angles to win points, and seemed at ease moving around the court. And he drew the usual whistles from female fans as he stripped off his shirt after the win.
“I need for the knee be stronger, to be more comfortable playing all out,” Nadal said. “There are days when the knee is not comfortable. … Today I am in the second round of doubles and tomorrow I start in singles. I’m not going to speak more about the knee. What’s coming up is tennis, and that’s why I am here to try to play as well as I can.
“The more hours I am on the court, the better,” he added. “Today was important, but in another aspect it wasn’t so important. The most important was just to be here. There is no doubt that perhaps the result here is not the overriding thing. I’ll do all I can to win and play as well as I can.”
Nadal is a huge favorite to win in Chile. If he doesn’t, questions will follow him to the next two clay-court events in Brazil and Mexico _ warm-ups for the French Open. But if he does win, the questions will also come up again at the next two stops in Latin America.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WWII vet, 90, en route to Pearl Harbor event booted from flight
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow