We are just days away from the return of Rafael Nadal to pro tennis at the Vina Del Mar clay event. Earlier today the former No. 1 landed in Chile. In his first trip to the country Nadal was greeted by the local media and fans at the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago.
Rafa told the local press that his knee was feeling better and he will give his maximum effort at the tournament which begins on Monday. “My knee is much better, and this is the most important thing now because there’s no risk of a big injury,” Nadal told the AP. “But it’s still bothering me, which will keep me from playing all the time, which I would like to do.”
After leaving the airport, Nadal went to the Palacio de La Moneda where he met with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and former tour players Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez. He’s then scheduled for a 2-hour practice session later at the tournament with 16-year-old Chilean junior Christian Garin.
On Saturday, Nadal will take part in the draw ceremony and hold an official press conference afterward. He is expected to play doubles Tuesday night with good friend Juan Monaco then his singles opening round Wednesday night.
Because of an ailing knee, Nadal hasn’t played since June at Wimbledon.
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