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Nadal Reflects On Comeback Week

Vina del Mar, Chile

Nadal© AFP/Getty Images

Assessing the pros and cons of his closely watched return to the ATP World Tour in Vina del Mar this past week, former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal said that ‘the balance is positive’. Playing his first tournament after a seven-month layoff due to a left knee injury, Nadal reached the singles and doubles finals at the VTR Open, but lost both title matches. After nine matches in six days, Nadal said that he now had a much better insight to where his game and body were.

“A week ago we didn't know how the body would respond,” he said. “[Now] at least I know we can compete at a certain level. I think that was a positive week… I will try to keep improving my physical sensations day by day, which is the most important thing because I don't feel that my tennis level is bad. I need more time on court.

"The knee is still bothering me, but you have to face adversity with the best possible face and look forward to keep working and enjoy what I like the most, to play tennis."

Nadal, who suffered just his fifth loss in 41 career clay-court finals when he fell to Zeballos 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-4, said that he was very pleased to make his return in Chile. Zeballos became just the third player (Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer) to beat Nadal in a clay-court final.

"The tennis is important, but for me the best thing was to have the feelings I've had this week, with a full stadium and one of the best crowds I've ever had in my life. It's a place I won't forget because of the love people gave me.

"I was two points away from winning the title, but I said from first day that the result was not the most important thing, although I would've liked to win. My opponent won, he deserved it and I congratulate him. Still, to win four matches in a row is good news for me."

Nadal is the top seed at this week’s Brasil Open 2013 in Sao Paulo. He will then have a week off before playing the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Mexico.

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