2/11/13 4:13 PM | Johan Lindahl
Despite losses in both singles and doubles finals in his comeback event on clay in Chile, Rafael Nadal will soldier on with his return to tennis after an absence lasting well over seven months due to knee injuries.
The top seed and heavy favourite in Vina del Mar on the Pacific coast lost the final of that ATP 250 event to unheralded Argentine Horacio Zeballos 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-4. The defeat leaves Nadal to looking to go a step further this week as he plays in Sao Paolo and takes to the doubles court with Argentine David Nalbandian,
Zeballos is only the third player after Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to beat Nadal in a clay court final. "It's a dream for me," said "the winner. "To be able to play a final against Nadal was already good enough for me. It's a moment that will stay in my memory for the rest of my life."
Nadal will remain on fifth in the world and insists he has no timetable for trying to improve his ranking after losing just 14 games as he reached the final. "It was a great tournament for me, if we take everything, it was positive.
"It's true I wanted to win the final but it wasn't possible. He made things better than me and I didn't play my best match. I just need to keep working, practicing with hope, motivation and the right attitude. I hope it's the beginning of a lot of good things for me."
Nadal will stick to clay this week in Brazil and then travels to Acapulco for that event prior to testing himself on North American hard courts for the first time in a year.
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