Rafael Nadal won his first title in seven months on Sunday defeating David Nalbandian in the Sao Paulo final. Afterward the former No. 1 admitted that he’s still unsure if he’ll play on the hardcourts at Indian Wells next month on March 7.
In two tournaments during this comebacl the 26-year-old hasn’t looked anything like the old Rafa. But he still has Acapulco next week to close out this 3-event Latin Swing, then he’s scheduled for a Madison Square Garden exo before Indian Wells.
Nadal’s damaged knees take much more pounding on the hardcourts and Rafa hasn’t won in the desert since 2009 and has never taken the Miami title. In fact, Nadal hasn’t won a hardcourt title in two and a half years since he was victorious at 2010 Tokyo.
And since the start of 2011, Nadal has only beaten a Top 5 player on hardcourts three times – Murray at 2011 US Open, Federer at 2012 Australian Open and 2011 Miami (3-8 record). Eleven of Nadal’s 51 career titles have come on hardcourts.
So should Rafa risk further injury to his knees next month by playing Indian Wells and Miami, or rest up for his favored clay season?
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