Rafa returns, and loses in Chile

Rafael Nadal has returned and he played himself into the final of the VTR Open final in Chile today.  He lost in three sets to Horacio Zeballos from Argentina, 7- 6, 6 – 7, 4 – 6.  This seems somewhat of a surprise, perhaps even a shock, as it was a clay court match.  Rafa has been slowly making his way back into competitive tennis after recovering from an injured knee and losing at Wimbledon.  Rafa, in my opinion, does not look like Rafa.  Will he get back to playing like the Nadal we all know?  Perhaps.  I really question whether he will beat Djokovic, Murray, even Federer at some of the upcoming events, especially the hard court ones.  We will find out in early March when they will all reconvene at Indian Wells, CA for the Paribas Open.  I  cannot wait to see how the big four match up in that event.  I think Rafa has put so much wear and tear on his body, especially his lower body with his style of play, that he might not ever be the same player he was.  I hope I am wrong, and knowing how competitive he is, I am sure he will do everything he can to prove me wrong.

Speaking of Roger Federer, we can look forward to seeing him compete in Rotterdam, the Netherlands this week with coverage of the quarterfinals starting on Feb. 14th.  Happy Valentines Day to me!

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