Rafael Nadal’s first week back to the sport he loves didn’t end as he had hoped. The Spaniard was stunned earlier today by 73rd-ranked Horacio Zeballos 67, 76, 64 in the final of the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar Chile.
Nadal had been out seven months since Wimbledon because of a left knee injury and afterward the former No. 1 admitted he still wasn’t back to full strength.
“The knee is still bothering me,” Nadal said. “But you have to face adversity with the best possible face and look forward to keep working and enjoy what I like the most, to play tennis.”
In his first event and his maiden trip to Chile, Nadal still made the finals without losing a set and was just a few points from victory at the end of the week. He also was a runner-up in the doubles final.
“The tennis is important, ” he said. “But for me the best thing was to have the feelings I’ve had this week, with a full stadium and one of the best crowds I’ve ever had in my life. It’s a place I won’t forget because of the love people gave me.
“I was two points away from winning the title, but I said from first day that the result was not the most important thing, although I would’ve liked to win. My opponent won, he deserved it and I congratulate him. Still, to win four matches in a row is good news for me.”
After a busy week of tennis, Nadal will have a few days off to prepare for the Sao Paulo event later this week where he’s the top seed and is again playing doubles, this time with Argentine David Nalbandian.
Here are the highlights from the match:
A few words from the champion:
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