• Nadal comeback match finally here

    2/6/13 3:54 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal comeback match finally here Rafael Nadal will contest his first singles match in more than seven months on Wednesday in Vina del Mar. Up first for the former world No. 1 is Federico Delbonis.

    At long last, the wait is over.

    Rafael Nadal will be back in singles action for the first time since Wimbledon when he takes the court on Wednesday evening at the VTR Open. His opening match comes in the form of a first-ever meeting with Federico Delbonis.

    Delbonis won't necessarily become a household name like Lukas Rosol, who stunned Nadal in the second round at the All-England Club last summer. Still, this is by far the biggest occasion of the 22-year-old Argentine's career. Delbonis registers at No. 128 in the world and he is 10-14 lifetime at the ATP level after getting past Guido Pella 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(1) on Tuesday.

    Nadal, who has slipped behind countryman David Ferrer down to No. 5 in the world, is making his first career appearance in Vina del Mar. He played doubles on Tuesday with Juan Monaco and took out the second-seeded pair of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 6-2.

    "In doubles the effort is always less taxing," Nadal explained. "We will see how it goes in singles and how my physical condition is."

    If nothing else, the doubles performance was at least a positive sign. There is no reason to think the top seed won't begin with a straight-set victory over Delbonis.

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Can't wait!

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 2/6/13 11:20 AM

^^You know Nadline,
This reminds me of when Andy came back from that wrist injury.
Back then i was so concerned he would never get back to his best but really there was nothing to worry about. Actually that reminds me, the tennis world seems to be very quiet at the mo.
Oh No, Nada Andy M all month!!!!!!!!!!
Oh gawd what shall we do?
I know i'll watch some good hardcourt matches by Andy as this clay court stuff really sucks.
It's all rather dirty looking, anyway i dunno, i hope i am not being too inappropriate but really, what else is going on right now thats of interest?

Twinge , 2/6/13 2:33 PM

LOL @ Twinge, it's the same feeling for Rafans when hardcourt swing approaches where Rafa is not winning titles as much as he does on clay. The brave pretty and handsome Rafans (haha) endure it. Just like the weather, tennis is seasonal you have to stay and watch it whether on clay, grass or cement.

Raindrops , 2/6/13 2:58 PM

Dont think Federico Delbonis is a threat to Nadal

tennis2011 , 2/6/13 3:15 PM

Rafa seems to have cut out his ticks between points and appears to be well within the time allowed. I hope that will shut everyone up about his time wasting. I'll see if ANYONE can claim to enjoy the matches any more than they did before.

nadline , 2/6/13 6:01 PM

Why do people go on and on about Rafa not winning on h/c. Rafa is as good on h/c as the rest of them. No one goes on and on about how other players can't win titiles on clay. At least Rafa has GS and M1000 titles on h/c, which is much more than can be said of some who have NO clay titles to their name.

nadline , 2/6/13 6:05 PM

"At least Rafa has GS and M1000 titles on h/c, which is much more than can be said of some who have NO clay titles to their name.."

Do you know what nagline this reminds me of Andy Mu..
Wait a minute! Thats exactly who you mean isnt it?!!
Perhaps if Andy was brought up on it he might have got one under his belt by now but i doubt he cares as clay court tennis is coma inducing anyway ;)
Which reminds me, im off to watch an amazing HC match he played against Nadal at Toronto.
Back in a mo!

Twinge , 2/6/13 6:12 PM

Twinge, you don't seem to know much about your idol. Of course Andy trained on clay as a teenager in Barcelona.

"Aged just 15, Andy Murray moved to Barcelona to train for a tennis career on the clay courts of the Sanchez-Casal Academy. After playing and losing to a young Rafael Nadal in a youth tournament, Andy found out that the young Spaniard was training with Carlos Moya, the then world number one, and so he made his mind up to train in Spain." idnt-know-andy-murray.html

nadline , 2/6/13 6:26 PM

Hardly my idol,
I leave the grovelling & hero worshipping to the plebs out there,
(and I'm nearly ten years older than him).
And yes dear we are all aware that Andy attended a Spanish academy
heres my original quote in case you have forgotten;

"Perhaps if Andy was brought up on it.."

`Brought up` ya see?

Twinge , 2/6/13 6:41 PM

^^^Limp excuse. Anyway, facts are facts.

nadline , 2/6/13 6:57 PM

3 years in Spain is not being `brought up` there is it!
FACT is he started tennis 4 or 5 ten years before Spain,
Try and grasp this dear.
You've been on TT for 3 years
Were you brought up on it then?

Twinge , 2/6/13 7:02 PM

`at` 4 or 5^^

Twinge , 2/6/13 7:06 PM

Vamos Rafa!!!

natashao , 2/6/13 7:32 PM

No contest for Rafa at all. Nadal can beat this guy even with one leg.

Emiliano55 , 2/6/13 7:45 PM

^^^^ Yeah, same way he can beat Fed on clay, no? ;)

Lucky for those in the US with Tennis Channel broadcasting the match!

Us Canadians will have to find a friendly stream in which to swim.

#VAMOSRAFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !1

Conspirator , 2/6/13 8:32 PM

^^^^ Yeah, same way he can beat Fed on clay, no? ;)

Conspirator, 2/6/13 8:32 PM

LOL. Kind of :p

Emiliano55 , 2/6/13 8:56 PM

Rafa broken in his first service game. Has won only one of the first nine points played.


Conspirator , 2/6/13 10:20 PM

Two aces in a row to put Rafa on the board.



Conspirator , 2/6/13 10:25 PM

Rafa breaks back after several deuces and his first vamos fist pump.


Conspirator , 2/6/13 10:34 PM

that forehand down the line passing shot winner, STUNNER! honestly, have not seen that shot for nearly 7 months :P LOL ..VAMOOSSSSS :D :D

vamosrafa , 2/6/13 10:39 PM

rafa'd peformance grph just kept going up in this set, he has already started to impress! there are only a couple of things about which he is not at the level where he left but come on its his first set in seven months :D the forehand is already sending shockwaves across the locker rooms ;)

vamosrafa , 2/6/13 11:05 PM

and of course you can only pass a limited judgement after seeing a player play ONLY 1 set against a low ranked opponent (who aint playing badly at all though)..

vamosrafa , 2/6/13 11:08 PM

I like the shirt and the play is encouraging. he looks like he means business out there.

cherylmurray , 2/6/13 11:30 PM

I give Rafa a 7/10. OK, Delbonis is no player to write home about but he didn't play badly at all, he held his own throughout the match and Rafa had to be on his toes. It's obvious that Rafa is a bit rusty, he missed some bread and butter shots which he normally makes in his sleep.

I'm glad it wasn't too easy because he needs these sort of challenges to sharpen his game.

Monaco has gone out to Rufin in straight sets, Ricky!

nadline , 2/6/13 11:58 PM

Rafa played just the way it was to be expected after 7 months of no competitive matches...however, I saw strength in his game filled with honest determination and desire to win...and that is just what our Rafa needs to be at the top of his game?going this way forward if healthy and fit Rafa will beat them all on clay...Rafa all the way for the Clay Slam again!
And I just love the way he looks?the color of the shirt is beautiful and it fits great on him?Rafa is simply adorable, isn't he...:)

The wait is finally over, indeed?Thank God for that...

Vamos Rafa The Greatest!

natashao , 2/7/13 12:28 AM

sorry, have no idea where all these question marks came from...:)

natashao , 2/7/13 12:30 AM

Yes indeed!!!!

Vamos Rafa The Greatest!!!!!!!!!!


Conspirator , 2/7/13 12:36 AM

I am going to watch the replay of Rafa's match again later on the tennis channel. I was a bit overwhelmed with emotion seeing him out on the court again. I must say that he looked amazing! That gorgeous lavender shirt set off by his tan and that short haircut! He looks better than ever!

I said that I won't overanalyze his first match, but I had a few thoughts. I expected to see a rusty Rafa who was lacking rhythm and timing on his groundstrokes. He missed shots that he would make in his sleep. You could see the frustration on his face. He is a perfectionist and demands the best from himself. There were some nice flashes of some great shots that were vintage Rafa.

Of course one can't read too much into a match against such a low ranked opponent, but he played some decent tennis. I definitely thought that Rafa was trying to work on constructing points to get the winning shot. He was feeling his way again on the court.

The best part was when Rafa won the match. After he greeted his opponent at the net and then went out to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd, that smile on his face and that fist pump really said it all! I admit that I had a lump in my throat watching it. Happy Rafa! His first singles win in seven months! His face just lit up!

Apparently the tennis channel made a last minute decision to televise this match. The commentator thanked the crew and everyone who got this ready in just 48 hours. Good decision! Now we can look foward to seeing more of Rafa.

Thank God for the tennis channel! Welcome back, Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 2/7/13 1:13 AM

i predicted the score EXACTLY correct

6-3, 6-2


RickyDimon , 2/7/13 5:51 AM

Seeing Rafa on court yesterday summed up why he's been sooooooo missed. He look good and showed glimpses of his brilliance.

What's not to like?

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 2/7/13 9:13 AM

Oh my, tennis is sooooo booorrring without Andy Murray.....;) zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

deuce , 2/7/13 12:07 PM

deuce, wrong thread. This is about Rafa's comeback. The clue is in the title.

nadline , 2/7/13 12:51 PM

I am praying that Rafa recovers his former greatness. If he doesn't, tennis will be sooo boring. Unlike Fed fans who falsely claim they just want to see Fed playing and don't care if he doesn't win, I want to see the Rafa who wins. If he doesn't recover his greatness, I want him to retire and I will spend my time watching his old matches.
I know that Rafa will not continue playing if he cannot play at the highest level. Although winning may not be important to him, being able to play superlative tennis is what draws him to the game.
I know I shouldn't be worrying and should just take each day as it comes but I am worried.

holdserve , 2/7/13 3:42 PM


There's a reason why I said that I won't overanalyze Rafa's first match. I think it's a mistake to read too much into it. It's also way too early as far as I am concerned, for any speculation about whether Rafa will return to his former greatness and whether he should retire if it doesn't happen. That is jumping way too far ahead at this point.

If anyone expected Rafa to come out and play brilliant, amazing tennis and fly across the court as though he had never left, then they were bound to be disappointed. I am sure that Rafa is not thinking ahead that far. He will be taking this one match, one tournament at a time.

I think it's too early to worry. The fact that Rafa is still in the fight, the fact that he has come back at all, is a testament to how much he wants to still play and how much it means to him. I am not going to put unrealistic expectations on him in his first tournament. I am going to stay positive and believe that Rafa has more to do in this sport. I don't think the story is over by a long shot.

Nativenewyorker , 2/7/13 6:51 PM

Welcome back, Rafa!!!!

Wish you all the best for the rest of the season, and looking forward to some great tennis!!!


Monalysa , 2/7/13 7:17 PM

Oh come off it nadline, every thread when Rafa wasn't playing, you went on and on and on mentioning him, relevant thread or not.....
Just pay back time.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz till Andy comes back.

deuce , 2/8/13 2:18 PM

All threads eventually end up being about Nadal, dormant or not because his enemies can't help taking a shot at him.

nadline , 2/8/13 2:22 PM

All threads end up being about Nadal because you won't shut your clam about him.

Twinge , 2/8/13 2:28 PM

Deuce and Twinge, I hear you. nadine, in my experience the vast majority of Andy fans feel no animosity towards Nadal or his fans. You should pick your battles more carefully. You're in danger of becoming the other side of the coin of a Fed-fanatic.

racquet , 2/8/13 11:33 PM

^^^Self appointed adjudicator are you? I will definitely vouch for deuce and alex but not Twinge who continuously tries to minimise Rafa's achievements, implies that he is finished because Muzz and Nole will take care of him on his return and generally refutes any article posted here praising Rafa.

nadline , 2/9/13 12:15 AM

^^Not adjudicating, just making an observation. I've been lurking for quite a while and it's true that you bring up Rafa almost incessantly on non-related threads - not only in response to so-called "enemies". Perhaps Twinge is just irked about it and knows how to push your buttons. I don't detect any malice towards Rafa in his comments. Again, just my 2 cents.

racquet , 2/9/13 2:22 AM

racquet, if you want to intervene then do so on the facts. If you show me just one post I made about Rafa on the wrong thread I will concede that you are right. There were many threads on Rafa throughout his 7 months lay off reporting on his progress so you might be confused.

I would be very interested in your evidence.

nadline , 2/9/13 10:06 AM

I don't see the problem with folk taking threads off on tangents here and there, as long as the conversation regularly returns to the theme of the post. I think with all five of the most recently commented stories being rafa stories - ok, one of them is about muzz commenting on rafa - it's pretty tricky finding anywhere TO comment about muzz. I had no probs either with rafans bringing rafa into muzz threads during his absent stretch when rafa stories could be scarce - I sometimes brought him into muzz threads myself.

alex , 2/10/13 2:20 AM

And anyway, what exactly do the last 8 posts have to do with the title? Absolutely nothing, but who cares, that's the way conversations go when people start chatting. Cool.
And yep, it is good to have rafa back, even if I can't get my head round why muzz needs a month off when he had points to defend in dubai.

alex , 2/10/13 2:29 AM

I am sure even Twinge doesn't mind all the posts about Rafa. He is probably venting on nadline his frustration with Muzz.

holdserve , 2/10/13 4:56 AM


I appreciate your reasonable attitude. It's only natural for discussions to sometimes go off topic. We do usually get back on track. I think there has to be some flexibility and leeway.

As you said so well, sometimes there are no threads on which to discuss your favorite player. I can understand Murray's fans wanting to see him continue playing right now. But Rafa was out of competition for seven months. That's a really long time to have to wait to see your favorite player!

I don't have a problem if Murray fans mention him on a Rafa topic thread, especially if there is no place else for them to talk about him.

Nativenewyorker , 2/10/13 9:34 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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