Rafael Nadal Victorious In Doubles Return [Video Highlights]
by Tom Gainey | February 6th, 2013, 12:07 am
  • 66 Comments

Rafael Nadal made a successful return to tennis in doubles Tuesday night in Vina Del Mar. Nadal teamed with good friend Juan Monaco to beat the No. 2 seeded Czech team of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 63, 62 in the first round of the VTR Open.

“It was a great feeling to play again and I’m very happy for doing it with a friend like Monaco in a great atmosphere that we had on the court,” Nadal said after his first match in seven months. “In doubles the effort is always less [taxing]; we will see how it goes in singles and how my physical condition is. I chose this tournament because it is the perfect time and surface.”

Nadal and Monaco will play Rufin/Volandri in the quarterfinals.

The 26-year-old Nadal returns in singles Wednesday against Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis. Tennis Channel will televise the match live in the USA at 4pm ET.

Monaco tweet:

Highlights:

Presser:


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66 Comments for Rafael Nadal Victorious In Doubles Return [Video Highlights]

Giles Says:

Well done Champ! Back to winning ways! Long may it continue. #VamosKing


Karthick Says:

Vamos Rafa! Vamos Rafa!! Vamos Rafa!!!


jamie Says:

Doubles and golden shower buddies.


alison Says:

^Then let me get in between them both then^.


MMT Says:

Oof, forehand looks pretty good. And I have to say, it really looks funny to see Nadal in a shirt with a COLLAR!


Brando Says:

That forehand!

What a thing of beauty and so badly missed!

Glad to see rafa back on the court- smiling, looking happy and doing what he loves to do: compete.

Hope you stay healthy and fit rafa- VAMOS!


Humble Rafa Says:

Does anyone think Alison’s name is being used by someone else other than “Alison”. Alison’s behavior seems a bit strange.


Humble Rafa Says:

it really looks funny to see Nadal in a shirt with a COLLAR!

I am grown up now. Get used to it. It pays more money than a collarless shirt.


Giles Says:

Did anyone notice the short shorts as well?? #FemaleParadise


jane Says:

^ okay Giles; I am beginning to doubt you’re a guy again… ;)


Giles Says:

Hahaha!
Didn’t you notice it as well?


alison Says:

Humble Rafa lol i am a bit strange ya got that in one,but im still the same Alison that used to be Alison Hodge,nobodys pinched my moniker.


jane Says:

Giles, I don’t mind short shorts but on Rafa I always thought the capris were pretty cool.


alison Says:

^I liked the capris and the short sleeves too,set him apart from the rest,must admit i do like the short shorts though,female paradise indeed,maybe Giles knows what makes us women tick though^.


alison Says:

Brando great post much agree,and nice to here such words as thing of beauty,as its not usually words one associates with Rafa,its usually beast,warrior,fighter,never much credit though for been a talented tennis player though,so it makes a change thanks.


Giles Says:

jane. I too preferred the capris and sleeveless but I think at the end of the day Nike decide on the clothing. I posted a link a few days ago on this very subject.


MMT Says:

Since 2009 I’ve liked the cut of Nadal’s clothes, if not always his choice in colors (which usually clash something fierce and/or are way too loud for my tastes).

I think the sleeveless shirt and capris looked like a costume and I was delighted to see them go. Personally I like to wear collars, but am more concerned with the cut and color whether it has collars (for example, I like short sleeves that stop closer to the elbow than the shoulder and are tapered…but I digress).

Anyway, I don’t know if I’m not used to it, or if it really doesn’t suit him, but I think he looks better without collars.

Now all that other stuff I’ll leave to the ladies and Giles.


Humble Rafa Says:

^I liked the capris and the short sleeves too,set him apart from the rest,must admit i do like the short shorts though,female paradise indeed,maybe Giles knows what makes us women tick though^.

I liked to be known for my tennis, not the skin I show.


alison Says:

Humble Rafa sorry you are you definetly are,its great having you back.


skeezer Says:

his movement looks a little unsure imo, but it is his first match….


Ben Pronin Says:

Skeeze, I wanted to say the same thing but I feel like 1) this is doubles so maybe he doesn’t feel the need to move much (I haven’t really seen him play any doubles matches). And 2) it’s too hard to base this off 2 points shown in this clip. It’s unfortunate they didn’t show him serving at all. Hopefully we’ll see more today, though.


Humble Rafa Says:

his movement looks a little unsure

The screws on my knee were a little loose. We have to wait and see


Giles Says:

Monaco knocked out by Rufin in Chile!


Alok Says:

@MMT, I also like the style of clothing you prefer. To me, capris look like he’s going shelling as in crabs and are more for extremely casual things, but not for playing tennis. I think collars give the shirts a more er finished look. However, as they say to each his own.

Good to see Rafa back and playing again. his presence will add more excitement and competition among the top 4, and probably, depending on how his knees hold up, remove the foregone conclusion as to who will will the titles, IMO.


RZ Says:

Alison, I’m glad no one has pinched your moniker, but I’m thinking you may not be clear on what a golden shower is. It’s not something you’d want to be in the middle of…


alison Says:

RZ yeah i do i realised after i posted what id said,unfortunatly it was too late by then,put it this way,ive said alot of things today i wish i hadnt and i wish i could take them back but i cant unfortunatly,and im quite upset actually to be honest,just to say im sorry to Novak and all his lovely fans on this forum,i got out of bed this morning on the wrong side,and my temper and virtual tongue ran away with me.


mat4 Says:

Rafa looks good.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal looks awful. So match rusty. Serve is ok. Forehand looking flappable. Backhand eh. He’s just playing typical clay court tennis. But his footwork doesn’t look as fluid as it usually does on the surface.


Giles Says:

^^^ Out for 7 months – you expect him to be match fresh and fluid??? #Unbelievable


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

It is his first match after a long pause. But he serves well, returned solidly, his shots are a bit short but, overall, it seems OK at this point.


Ben Pronin Says:

I didn’t say anything about expectations, I’m just making observations.


Giles Says:

That’s my Champ. Well done!! #WontBeRustyForLong


Giles Says:

http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/tennis/live-commentary/live-commentary-rafael-nadals-singles-comeback-as-it-happened_68013.html
Live commentary for Rafa’s match. Didn’t see the match but the commentary was good! #VamosKing


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

It is difficult to judge, De Bonnis made so many errors, and Rafa wasn’t pushed. Perhaps you are right about the FH. But he probably played safer.

We will probably have to wait a bit more to see his current level.


the DA Says:

I don’t think he looked awful. A step slower and rusty on his forehand. The serve and BH looked fine. Not a bad effort for his first match since Wimbledon. Good to see him back on court.


skeezer Says:

c’mon guys he played a guy who has been on the tour for 4 years and hasn’t been able get even into the top 100. These are all like sparring partners for Rafa, which of course he needs, and there is nothing really to get out of it, other than this is a party tournament for Rafa.

Would like to see his movement tested, but this is a good place to start if he has some insecurities about it.

Its not about his FH, his FH was not on IR, his knees = movement were.


jane Says:

Giles, relatively speaking but certainly not 70s style! :)


Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, yeah, De Bonnis not very good… But Nadal wasn’t authoritative. I’m not saying he should have been, but I thought he’d come back a little stronger. I definitely don’t see any special additions or changes to his game. Like I said, he was playing very typical clay court tennis. Moon balls on the backhand, short balls on the forehand. His serve was pretty good, but it didn’t need to be great against such an easy opponent.

But the biggest and most important thing was his movement. And it wasn’t great. It seemed awkward at times, particularly when he was running around his backhand. And especially when he was moving up the court. Usually he’s great with the dinks and drop shots but he had no idea how to hit them today.

I’m sure he’ll find his groove over the next few weeks, but he is far from top form right now. If Ferrer is ever to get that clay win over him, now would be his best bet.


Humble Rafa Says:

RZ yeah i do i realised after i posted what id said,unfortunatly it was too late by then

To the poster posting as Alison, don’t worry, you will slowly “grow” into Alison.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

“Ben Pronin Says:

[...] but I thought he’d come back a little stronger. I definitely don’t see any special additions or changes to his game [...]

To be honest, watching some sequences a few months ago, I was AFRAID Rafa would come back much stronger, using effectively the time he had without competition to improve his serve (he had done that in 2010, so I considered it very possible), his backhand, his slice…

But then, thinking of it, reading your comments, some ideas I had in the past came back.

First, we have the impression that it is possible to improve his technique effectively because Murray, Federer and Djokovic have all improved a lot in the last few years. But then, when we watch the other top players, we see how much they struggle to put it all together.

E.g. Berdych is stronger, has improved his game on the net, perhaps his return also, but usually shows nothing of this in big matches. You can’t notice serious changes in Almagro’s, Gasquet’s or Tsonga’s game (although it could change). Simon plays basically the way he played three years ago, Cilic too, Del Potro has the same weaknesses.

In Rafa’s evolution there have been a lot of changes: but the framework remained the same, and my guess is that he made them alone, adapting to grass, trying to have more depth on hard…

Two things were revealing there: when he changed his serve, he had to hire another coach. There were problems after that with him, and the man left. But watching the clips available on the net, we could see that the man did the usual ground work every good coach does.

And there was that stretch against Novak: match after match, Rafa played the same game. He needed more than a year to record a significant victory over Novak. In the meantime, he spoke about this or that, but tennis wise, you couldn’t notice dramatical changes. A few tactical changes, but nothing important: moonballing, and… moonballing. When he finally won, he did it with the energy of despair, with great courage and heart. But he did it alone.

Roger and Andy hired new, competent coaches to improve. Novak introduced in his work the precision of a car racing team: Phil-Gritsch worked on his movement, Vajda improved his FH, his slice, his transition game, his volleying. Everything seems planned, and we are witnessing a constant evolution.

But Annacone and Vajda worked with good players before, and had excellent results. Lendl worked with great coaches, and was a great player himself.

In Rafa’s case, I believe that he managed to become the champion that he is despite his uncle. Nobody can convince me that a good coach would learn a child to play the FH the way Rafa plays it. A good coach should know the methodology to teach the serve. It seems obvious that Toni doesn’t know it.

Reading Rafa’s book, I was a bit shocked by the Toni’s behaviour toward Rafa. And my deepest conviction that it didn’t helped, but harmed his development, as a man, and as a player.

If Rafa wants to keep the pace, especially now, when he has recurrent problems with his knees, he probably should try to find a competent coach. Until then, he will fight, win and lose with his heart only.


Humble Rafa Says:

First of all, Fans

You are welcome. It was my pleasure.

I know I did not play well. The best is yet to come.


Nadalista Says:

Reading some of the comments here on Rafa’s first match back, you have to ask if these people (a) understand sports, let alone tennis specifically (b) understand the nature of sports injuries (c) are just plain stupid.


Nadalista Says:

…….oh, and it was Rafa’s OPPONENT who got the time violation.

It will be a long, hot summer……….


skeezer Says:

“you have to ask if these people…”

Then why don’t YOU ask them?


skeezer Says:

@mat4

Re; Rafa serve. Yeah I remember that. Changed his serve. A big weapon in his lone USO Slam. After? Hurt his shoulder…as a result…haven’t seen much of that serve since.

His service motion is not world class. He does the most he can with it, but its a typical clay courter serve +1.


Humble Rafa Says:

Skeezer,

If I win this title, you need to drop an “e” from your name. You have too many e’s.

If don’t win a title, you still needed to drop an “e”. Deal?


Brazil Federer Fan Says:

How about you stop picking your butt? That would be a good deal for a lot of tennis fans!

Bodo nailed rafa and his team for their stupid antics! He even called him the biggest drama queen in ATP. Ofcourse Bodo doesn’t know tennis, only nadalista and giles and other blind rafa worshippers do.


Giles Says:

Happy for the win after all this time, no??


Brazil Federer Fan Says:

What is the over/under for a career-ending rafa injury in

a) wimbledon
b) US open
c) french open


Brazil Federer Fan Says:

I think it is safe to say that rafa’s holding on to dear life as the 2nd best player post 2000.

Djokovic is surely a better hardcourt as well as indoors player than rafa. [ 5HC slams to 2 and 2 year end championships to 0].

If Djokovic wins wimbledon this year, clay will be the only surface where nadal has a better slam/major title count than djokovic!


Giles Says:

“IF” I rule the world……..


mat4 Says:

@Skeez:

Yes, there were stories about his shoulder, but I rather think that he reverted to his old motion because they stopped working with Oscar Borras, and he had a very bad serving day in the final of IW.

It is very revealing to see that a few months of work with another coach brought such a big improvement in his game, and years with uncle Toni gave almost nothing.


Giles Says:

^^ “a few months of work with another coach”. If you are referring to Borras, I believe it was only ONE lesson on the serve aspect. Not months!!!


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

It is hard to believe it was only one lesson. It seems all very controversial. But you could be quite right, since Rafa reverted to his old motion the following year.

Anyway, the video is very instructive, and just reinforce my opinion about the Toni-Rafa relation.


mat4 Says:

Finally:

I found this:

“Rafa and his camp has denied to the press that Oscar helped his serve. Yesterday 11/3/11 in Spain Nadal was asked about the video and the lesson, he said the only thing Oscar did was to waste his time for 1/2 hr.”

Then, I just compared his motion in the USO 2010 and 2011. It is clear Borras didn’t waste his time.


alison Says:

BFF i think Rafas fans are just happy that hes back playing,no unrealistic expectations about the future,or worrying about anything else at the moment,one step at a time,personally about Novak overtaking Rafa and becoming the 2nd best player,well im not going to lie to you its a definate possibility,and if i said otherwise id be one of those deluded Rafa fans that you keep reffering to,and anyway to be regarded as 3rd aint too shabby either,but ATM Rafa sits along side Borg/Laver with 11 GS,and thats an amazing achievement,with only 3 men in history with more who would not be happy with that,but hey who knows what the future will bring,maybe some new talent will make a breakthrough?anyway just to say this Rafa fan rests easy with her favorites legacy even if he were to retire now,and Rogers your favorite and the greatest ever,and its so great that hes still playing fantastic tennis and still has that hunger at the age of 31,Federer,Nadal,Djokovic,Murray these guys are amazing and have set the bar so high for the next generation,nothing wrong in having your favorite,but lets enjoy them all while they are still here,nothing lasts forever,enjoy your tennis.


alison Says:

^Just to add its only a game,if one player surpasses another in terms of achievements,does it really matter that much,its only a game after all^.


alison Says:

Humble Rafa @Feb 6th 9.19pm, thanks but it is me,same old regular Alison,all that stuff i said yesterday was out of charater,i got out of bed on the wrong side,and said alot of things i shouldnt and didnt mean.


nadalista Says:

@juanjo_sports at Chengeovertennis.com says:

“I think Toni Nadal is number one on my list of people I’d like to interview someday.”

Fantastic piece on what Uncle Toni used to motivate Rafa during his long lay-off:

http://deportes.elpais.com/deportes/2013/02/05/actualidad/1360090308_589614.html


mat4 Says:

@alison:

Don’t worry. It happens to anybody. Anyway, I think you are a bit too harsh toward yourself. It all seemed OK to me.

And I am well aware of the “Jamie effect” myself.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

Anyway, a little dose of cynicism fits you well. You’re good at it..

Then, a question: which side of the bed is the right one? ..


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Are you sure it was the wrong side of bed or maybe your hubby still has a flu;)


alison Says:

Thanks Mat4 lol but i dont know about that,matter of opinion i suppose(the cynisism bit anyway),i got out of bed on the same side as i usually do lol,but i can be a moody bad tempered B*TCH sometimes,and take it out on everyone around me,as i did yesterday,but im in a much better mood today:)
Wogboy lol hubbys feeling much better now,but having said that,i aint feeling too great either,i have a sore throat,no energy,and i ache all over,im hoping its just a bug that will go away,as im supposed to be back at work on Monday,anyway married couples are supposed to share things,so he gave it to me ah bless him grrr ;).
Anyway thanks for those sweet words guys :-),love your posts.


alison Says:

Just to say i dont really know what i was thinking of,when i replied to Jamie at the top of this thread,but i dont know what the moderators were thinking of either by letting a comment like that get through February 6th 6.11am,seriously does talk like that really have any place on a tennis forum?


alison Says:

^Disgusting^.

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