Video Proof! Rafael Nadal Is Playing Tennis Again!
by Staff | November 20th, 2012, 9:47 am

For many long suffering Rafael Nadal fans, it’s a sight for sore eyes. After months working in the gym recovering from a left knee injury, Nadal officially returned to the practice this afternoon in his hometown of Manacor.

What can be gleaned from the videos? Not much. He still is represented by Nike. Uncle Toni remains by his side. He still likes wearing his hat backwards from time to time and even though he’s right-handed, he seems intent on continuing to play tennis lefty.

A “happy” Nadal told the on-looking press that he will continue his return slowly and with great care and caution.

“We go slowly, cautiously, day by day, and see if my body and particularly the knee again accept the charges and I can be competing as soon as possible, but always within the patience and confidence that things are going well,” said Nadal via google translation.

While the Australian Open is still almost two months away, the now-No. 4 ranked Rafa said there is no official return date, however the Abu Dhabi exhibition is still in play according the Uncle Toni.

Nadal hasn’t played since suffering a shock loss to Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon on July 28.


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68 Comments for Video Proof! Rafael Nadal Is Playing Tennis Again!

skeezer Says:

Looks good, but a little chunky. FH has the same wicked stuff.

Giles Says:

Good luck Rafa. Hope all goes well. #TennisNeedsYou

Karthick Says:

Vamos Rafa!!!

sienna Says:

people stil think he was actually injured. I gues toothfairy is doing overtime.

What a joke from this formet elite player.

Dave Says:

I think that’s the same court he practiced in Fall 2011 — a single indoor practice court, nice. This does not look like a player having his first practice after a five month layoff. For all we know, he has been practicing for many weeks now. I’m certain, without consulting the stars, that Nadal will show up at the Abu Dhabi exo with a magically improved serve and all-round game by the Australian Open.

jane Says:

That forehand at the end of the first video looked wicked! I expect him to be in dangerous form when he returns. After his injuries in 2009, he came back and dominated 2010. It’s very possible that’ll happen again in 2013. I wouldn’t be surprised anyhow. Nice to see he’s well again.

the DA Says:

Great to see. It’s just practice but he’s hitting the ball really well! Kind of scary actually. And he’s well rested. Can’t wait to get a better look at his overall game during Abu Dhabi.

Brando Says:


First thing’s first- thanks to TX for the footage, excellent coverage of the game as ever!

Those FHs just looked amazing- summed up completely what i have been missing in tennis for the last few months.

Anyhow, awesome to see rafa on the tennis court looking strong, fit and healthy- which is the most important thing.

And it doesn’t hurt to see him hit some powerful looking shots in the footage!

ONLY way is up from here for rafa, as he hopefully seen gets to return to do what he loves doing the most: playing COMPETITIVE tennis!

Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah this definitely doesn’t look like his first practice in 5 or 6 months, far from it. But at least now we know he’s gonna be back for Australia.

Giles Says:

First practice, tenth practice, who cares. The main thing is Rafa back on court.

skeezer Says:

^Integrity and honesty counts!

skeezer Says:

Unofficially he must have been hitting prior. But as giles said, who cares?

Wog boy Says:

Rafa is the man on the mission in 2013. He will be better than when he came back in 2009. He is fired up, with few surprises in his bag. Don’t be surprise if he goes all the way at AO, though I would like to see my man doing three in a row:)
Of course he was hitting before, do you really expect Don Vito to come out and tell his oponents what exactly they were doing last couple of months and what they were working on in his game, he is not an idiot. We don’t hear that neither from Federer nor from Nole. They (Don Vito and Rafa) keep their cards close to their chest, rightfully so:) It is going to be heck of the 2013 year, wait and you will see.

skeezer Says:

@Wog Boy,

Unc Toni as Don Vito? lol ;)

It would be nice to hear Rafa talk for Rafa instead of Unc Toni, after all, didn’t Rafa pass puberty awhile ago?

I would be shocked if he wins AO. Furthermore, IF he does, look out the rest of the season!
Imo just think he has taken too much time off to WIN a Slam very near him coming back, especially a HC. To go far in the tourney? That is more probable, if that.

Me thinks you are hedging your bets with Nole, who looks the solid fav to win AO. He’s proven THE MAN on HC Slams lately. ;)

Rafa as proven he needs alot of matches under his belt to be @ top form. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he dominates the Clay season again, assuming he is Fit and Healthy.

Wog boy Says:


It is just my feeling, nothing else. I remember when he came back in 2009 it took him few tournaments (you are right in that one) to get back into the game but once he hit his straps he was unstopable and with different game. For whatever reason he took this brake he needed it. Don’t forget he started winning the slams and playing on top level earlier than Roger and the others did. I guees his 26 is like Roger’s 30.
If he plays Abu Dhabi and Doha that is pretty good practice and few matches at AO can bring him beck to 80-90% and if he gets to SF everything is possible, and i am sure he will change his game too like he did in 2009.
When it comes to Uncle Toni, you are right, he makes all decisions (I am pretty sure even his father doesn’t have any say), but if he is happy and if it works well for him I guess it is OK.
I don’t mind if Nole wins AO, not at all;)

skeezer Says:

Wog Boy,
“It is just my feeling, nothing else.”

Me too ;)

Re; Rafa, didn’t he turn pro 17/18?

mat4 Says:

@Skeez, WB:

First, I hope Brando and Alison won’t see that nasty post of mine.

Then, I always felt that Rafa became the champion that he is in spite of unca Toni. Come on… They had to hire another coach to repair Rafa’s serve. Is there any competent coach that would teach a young player to hit the ball like Rafa does? And in the last few years, when Djokovic, Federer and Murray dramatically improved their game, what did Rafa change? His racquet… The evolution of his FH since 2008 was spontaneous.

Yes, WB, you could be right: Toni is indeed a Don Vito. The only thing he did to Rafa is to terrorize him when he was a boy.

mat4 Says:


I remember well Rafa in the second part of 2009: he had 15 pounds less, lost to Cilic in Beijing, to Novak in Paris, to Murray in Melbourne, and to Davydenko everywhere else. He played well: served about 123-125 mph, played long, but he just didn’t defend the insane way he usually does.

Wog boy Says:


….and then what happened with the rest of 2010:)?
He needed more tournaments to get where he wanted to be and that was calculated to go out and play as many tournaments regardless of results becouse results would come later and indeed they came. I was watching those matches too and you could see how he was getting better and better with every tournament IMHO. As for match with Murray, I was there and that was great match until very last moment when he retired, Andy would win regardlees. Andy should watch tha match more ofte, he was too good that night.

mat4 Says:


Yes, you’re quite right. He was already at least ten pounds heavier at the AO, although, by his own admission, he doesn’t lift weights. Then, the season just opened to him: Roger was in a big crisis, Novak forget how to serve, Murray had his usual spring slump, but at the USO he indeed lifted his game, served like a madman and won deservedly.

No, I think his best season was 2011, despite the strange beginning at the AO, where he lost to Ferrer, and injured his left/right knee. Without Novak, he would have reigned supreme.

Mark @ Tennisopolis Says:

Hey thanks for posting this – It is so nice to see Rafa back on the court. It has been tough, but I am so glad that he is taking the return slowly.

Kimberly Says:

Nice to see rafa hitting the ball. Missed him terribly!

Nims Says:

This is fantastic for tennis and fans. Hope he has a injury free year. We all have seen how much injury or illness takes away players from winning majors just like it did for Roger in 2008 and 2010 and for Rafa in 2009.

We want to see these best guys compete with their full physical health.

With Rafa back, we have an exciting season coming up.

madmax Says:


Nims Says:
This is fantastic for tennis and fans. Hope he has a injury free year. We all have seen how much injury or illness takes away players from winning majors just like it did for Roger in 2008.

November 21st, 2012 at 12:26 am

Roger won the USO in 2008.

alison Says:

Nims as Madmax says when you win a slam its still a sucessfull season,Roger still won the USO in 2oo8,and Rafa still won the AO in 2009 despite their illnesses or injuries,still great years for both well IMO.

Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal turned pro when he was around 14/15.

Nims Says:


Roger won 3 slams in 2007 and only one in 2008. I hope you get the difference. Also Roger suffered one of the worst final defeats in FO 08 finals.


I know it’s a successful season, but is it applicable to Roger at that stage when he was consistently winning 3 slams in a year. Rafa won 2009 before he got injured. I believe Rafa did not win a tournament in 2009 after he lost at FO.

We have to look at their success ratio in the years when they were not injured. Compare Rafa’s 2008 with 2009, compare Roger’s 2007 with 2008. You will know the difference.

alison Says:

Nims my point was even in whats concidered as a less than sucessfull season,a player can still do well and win a slam,its unfair to expect them to win multiple slams every year,surely no player is expected to sustain that level every year,it takes a super human effort?

jimmy Says:

Will he skip the AO and start his season on clay? If he has knee problems the last thing he needs is another 6 hour match against Djokovic. Also why did he add Acapulco to his schedule?

The Great Davy Says:

Guys. We all should accept that the year of the 2013 will be the year of The Davy.

The FeDavy dynasty will be total renewal. Total revenging for Australian Open choke. I will win the Rod Laver Reward for best fan favorite players. I will win the Olympic.

You heard this first.

skeezer Says:


“This is fantastic for tennis and fans”

Please consider Rogers age. He’ll be 32. Yes, it SHOULD be fantastic for Nole, Rafa and Murray among others. But Fed could easily drop off at anytime given his age. Just thankful he was able to compete and get back to #1 at a time when others are in there prime!

tennisfansince76 Says:

@Jimmy if he were to do that he would be all but conceding the race for #1. get no pts at the AO and he will be at a severe disadvantage against the others of the Big 4 plus a few other players as well like Ferrer. if Rafa is healthy i cannot see him not trying to be #1

alison Says:

Whatever the ins and outs of Rafas injury,as a fan i will just be delighted to have him back playing again,and contrary to what some people think, no im not arrogant enough that i am expecting immediate success,world domination blah blah blah,hes returning to the tour after 5 months injury,and on a HC and as people are so quick to remind his fans HCs are his worst surface,no unrealistic expectations,no building up ones hopes,one step at a time,just glad hes ready to start playing again,welcome back Rafa.

Brando Says:


‘just glad hes ready to start playing again,welcome back Rafa’

Spot on Alison- it’s the same for me!

It’s a testament to rafa’s game and threat that just a couple of mere training videos and rival player’s fans are already entertaining the notion of rafa being an AO threat even potential winner- lol, VAMOS RAFA!

But seriously, for me – as you said- it’s a step by step, day by day affair regarding rafa on his comeback.

No expectations- just the belief that the only way is up, since from being out on the sidelines he wasn’t going to any damage on the circuit.

Now on court, who knows? Just a guarantee that i can hopefully watch my fav play some tennis!:-)

alison Says:

Thanks Brando.

Huh Says:

toni looks crooked as always! ;)

Giles Says:

@Huh Your eyesight deceives you! Toni is as straight as a die! Lol.

Huh Says:

nice as usual to come back here since the last 2 weeks(thou not postin) and find out that dear folks like alison, brando, kimberly n skeeze etc r continuin postin here. :)

now comin to rafa, this clip or not, i would not put 0-2 slams beyond rafa in 2013, but i don’t see him winnin 3 slams at all. yeah, u heard it here first!

Huh Says:

lol giles ;)

Nims Says:

skeezer, at this age, motivation is the only factor for Roger. I don’t see his health being compromised due to age.

I don’t want to take Roger out of the contention for slams atleast in 2013, based on what he showed us in WTF. When he is rested and motivated, he can be a serious threat for the title.

Still it’s exciting year coming up for me as a Roger fan.

Nims Says:

alison, you don’t seem to have understood my point. All I wish is the guys competing should be of top health. It does not matter how much slams they win. I would like Rafa to compete like he did in 2011, eventhough he won only one slam. But I don’t want Rafa to have a year like 2009, where he could not compete at Wimbledon and had an abdominal tear at USO.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Great to see Rafa hitting a ball again, he looks like he’s never been away. Of course we’ll have to wait and see him in real match play and when he bites his first trophy, we’ll know he’s really back.

He has been missed and EVERYONE is so excited to see him back. Hope he has no setbacks and that he is back healthy and for the long haul.

madmax Says:

We all have seen how much injury or illness takes away players from winning majors just like it did for Roger in 2008.

Nims, trust me, I am aware of Roger’s accomplishments, being a federer fan. My point to you was that you got it WRONG. You said that Roger DIDN’T win any slams in 2008. I corrected you to say that he did. That was the end of the conversaton.

You didn’t have to throw a whole lot of stuff in. It was unnecessary. You got it wrong, injury didn’t stop Roger winning a slam in 2008. I get things wrong too and love it when I am corrected. Makes for a better informed poster I would say.

That’s all there is to it really. No problem.

Alison, am with you there. You seem to understand the score.

Here is a 13 year old Rafael Nadal (not having turned professional – that was 2 years later), playing against Richard Gasquet!


Nims Says:


this is the statement I made
“We all have seen how much injury or illness takes away players from winning majors just like it did for Roger in 2008 and 2010 and for Rafa in 2009.”

Note, I said “winning majors”, which means more than one slam. I understand Roger did win one, but Roger winning one slam is an underachievement for his standard at that stage in his career. And part of the reason was his mono at the start of the season.

madmax Says:

Ah Nims, okay. If that’s your take on it, but how amazing for any player to win a slam, look at Andy, first slam after trying for almost 4 years!

Shows how spoilt we have all been (especially the federer fans) with Roger winning 3 slams a year, especially 3 years on the trot! or 2 slams a year even, (2009).

3 slams a year though is still pretty awesome, 3 years on the go.

So for me, for Roger to have won one slam, when, if you remember, every one was writing him off, especially in 2008, ‘he is in decline, bla bla’, was proved wrong by the TMF.

He proved them wrong again this year. 1 slam it may have been, but who cares? He won one and that’s the incredi ble feat, in the strongest era of tennis, that we have ever seen.

Fed actually does rock Nims. He rocks.

Nims Says:

He won one and that’s the incredi ble feat, in the strongest era of tennis, that we have ever seen.

I respect your thoughts on this, but I differ. For me this is not the strongest era. Just that the top guys are more consistent now, which is more due to the surface neutrality.

I still think guys like Nalby, Safin, Hewitt, Haas were as good as any of these guys, but they were not consistent. Anyday I would pick Roger vs Nalby or Safin than Novak or Andy. IMHO.

Yeah, it’s amazing what these guys are doing in almost every slam. But my only wish for 2013 is for the top guys to compete with full health. May the best guy win.

madmax Says:

I think we actually agree more than you think Nims. I hear you.

alison Says:

Thanks Madmax,and thanks for the link sooo cute,Rafa and Reechard doing battle at 13 years of age aww.
Nims fair enough they all have what they have,what they havent is irrelevant,but your right,lets hope for a fit and healthy injury free year for all the players next year,as a fan i seem to have heard enough about Rafas injuries to last a lifetime.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Was Roger out with injury in 2008? Did I miss something?

alison Says:

Huh nice to see you posting again,personally speaking i dont know what will happen to Rafa next season,it will just be great to have him back playing again,im not thinking any furthur than that,i dont believe in setting myself up for dissapointment,and i completely agree 3 slams does seem unrealistic,its probably do or die now for Rafa,as everything moves on eventually anyway,Rafas done more than enough for me as a fan anyway,whatever will be will be.

jamie Says:

Nole will win two slams in 2013.

Andy will win one slam in 2013.

Nadal will win one slam in 2013.

It is written in the stars.

alison Says:

Rafa will break a record in 2013 then,the 1st player to win a GS for 9 straight years,hmm amazing stuff if it were to happen,Novak will have to wait then for another year for the career GS,however we will see.

jamie Says:

Nadal’s career is coming full circle.

2005 FO
2006 FO
2007 FO

2008 FO and Wimbledon
2009 AO
2010 FO, Wimbledon and USO

2011 FO
2012 FO
2013 FO

jamie Says:

Nole will win AO and USO in 2013.

Andy will win Wimbledon in 2013.

Nadal will win FO in 2013.

It is written in the stars.

alison Says:

What a career too?

Huh Says:

”I still think guys like Nalby, Safin, Hewitt, Haas were as good as any of these guys, but they were not consistent. Anyday I would pick Roger vs Nalby or Safin than Novak or Andy. IMHO.”

completely agree with nims w.r.t. this.


completely agree with u too, we as lucky fans of fed n rafa should just enjoy them from now on n not worry much as they’ve done all that we could hav askd from them! :)


what a joke u r! u wer sayin nadal wont win any mor slam n now u say he’ll win, lol; same kinda stuff w.r.t. fed u hav said befor too, lol ;)
but its your predicion or psychic’s? LOL ;)

alison Says:

Huh to be honest Jamies predictions change like the wind,Fedal wont win a GS next year,Andy will win 2 gs both the AO and Wimbledon next year,Delpo will win the USO,Nole will win the FO,now Nole will win the AO and the USO,Andy will win Wimbledon,and Rafa the FO,Jamies crappy predictions are harmless and are not offensive,but best to be taken with a pinch of salt,you make your own luck in this world,best to just wait and see.

madmax Says:

God, Jamie is back. I thought that his predictions were banned here? They are just repetitive nonsense.

Boring Jamie.

Nims Says:

The article you wrote is interesting. Thank you for sharing the experience.

suresh Says:

Rafa can win max 4 GS. 2 RG, 1 Wimby and 1 HC . Murray and Nole give him tough competetion on HC. Rafa will be vulnerable at Wimby (after watching this year match). He is a great competetior on Clay. He is a fine athelet. His chances are in 2013 & 2014. Beyond that he will be spent force.

Huh Says:

well said alison.

alison Says:

Thanks Huh.

Steve 27 Says:

Rafa can win max 4 GS. 2 RG, 1 Wimby and 1 HC . Murray and Nole give him tough competetion on HC. Rafa will be vulnerable at Wimby (after watching this year match). He is a great competetior on Clay. He is a fine athelet. His chances are in 2013 & 2014. Beyond that he will be spent force.

Very true, except I expect until Wimbledon 2015, is maybe his last chance to win another major.

alison Says:

Steve 27 TBH Rafas always been vulnerable at Wimby,even when he won it 2 years ago,Robin Hasse,Phillip Phezthner were close matches,RG seems to be his best bet,although hes won Wimby twice anyway,so hes nothing left to prove on clay,and little to prove on grass anyway now,would love to see him win a couple of majors on HCs just to even things out a bit,but im just wondering how realistic that seems hmm,however he has completed the career GS,so he has not much left to prove IMO,the only major thing left would be to win a WTF,and that should again IMO be his main focus,i imagine Jamie and Sienna laughing their heads off saying dream on,Rafa has no chance of winning a WTF or any more HC slams,but who cares.

alison Says:

Rafas playing the Quatar Open at Doha,and will be the top seed there.

Michael Says:

It is nice to see Nadal back. All the best to him. I am pretty sure he will be firing all cylinders when he arrives to the official tour.

Humble Rafa Says:

Thanks guys. I play so bad in practice. Have ways to go. I have one more month atleast. So, that’s good.

Even though I am a proud Spaniard, I gave thanks to all those who make the Rafa machine possible.

On Court Trainers
Knee Screw Tightener (aka knee specialist)
Umpires who put up with my 22 or so ball tosses
GOAT (There would be no GOAT Owner without the GOAT).
Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Money Grab
World’s best court at the Roland Garros
Uncle Toni (who taught me how to line up water bottles when I was 9 months old)

Hope to see you all early next year. Till then, take care.

Humble Rafa Says:

* Thanks on Thanksgiving day

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