ATP Tour

Nadal ready to test hard courts

2013-03-04 20:56
Rafael Nadal (AP)

New York - Rafael Nadal plans to test his fragile knee on the hard courts at Indian Wells to determine his playing schedule for the rest of the season

The 11-time Grand Slam champion will play an exhibition against Juan Martin del Potro later on Monday, his first chance to compete at Madison Square Garden. But when he heads to the hard courts for an official match later this week at Indian Wells, he doesn't know how his left knee will respond.

Just the fact that he's planning to play in California is encouraging for Nadal in his comeback from injury. A week ago, he wasn't sure if his knee could handle it. Then came his performance at the Mexican Open - capped by a dominating victory over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, the world's fourth-ranked player, in Saturday's final.

"I started to feel free to run to every ball," Nadal said at a news conference on Monday. "That's fantastic for me."

Nadal's first three tournaments back after missing seven months have been on clay - the best surface even before the injury for the seven-time French Open champ. The hard courts are far more punishing on his body, and he has talked about perhaps playing on them less.

Still, he'd like to stick with the same full event schedule as in past years. Indian Wells, with an expected field that boasts the top men's players in the world, will help determine whether that is possible.

"That will be a big test for me," Nadal said. "Today I know I can play on clay; that's a very important thing to know for me."

Read more on:    atp tour  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.