Rafael Nadal returns to the ATP World Tour this week after being sidelined for seven months due to injury.
The Spaniard returns at the VTR Open in Chile, he was meant to rejoin the tour back in December but a stomach virus delayed his much anticipated return to action by a further month due to lack of practice. Nadal hasnt played a professional match since his 2nd round Wimbledon loss to the now infamous Lukas Rosol, his absence has undoubtedly left a massive hole in the mens side of the game which was especially felt at the 2013 Australian Open with a lacklustre line up for the show courts come the business end of the tournament.
Much has been made about the mystery of Rafas schedule, as he is returning to the tour playing a clay tournament and there have been whispers that he is going to focus the rest of his career on clay to guarantee the longevity of his knee. For definite if the Spaniard wants to contend with the best all year round and not just on clay then he will need to find the form and fitness that he had during 2010 which won him 3 of the 4 grand slams. His draw for the VTR open is pretty simple, which is to be expected for a 250 event but a possible semi final with Jeremy Chardy sounds interesting.
I for one am glad Rafa is back and hope his knee enables him to return to his peek form so we can truly have a top four!