Buenos Aires - Rafael Nadal has had his
request for a wild card invitation to next week's Argentina Open accepted as
the Spaniard rejigs his schedule after his shock Australian Open exit.
The world number five lost in the first
round of a Grand Slam for just the second time in his career to fellow Spaniard
Fernando Verdasco in Melbourne.
After his unexpectedly early departure the
29-year-old travelled to Mallorca to start training for what could be a make or
break year on clay, starting now with the defence of his title in Buenos Aires.
"I want to thank the organisers of the
Argentina Open for giving me this wild card to play in Buenos Aires," he
told the ATP website from Mallorca on Monday.
"The times that I've played in
Argentina have been special and full of good memories because the people are
some of the best in the world.
"I asked for this wild card after the
bad result in Melbourne and I hope that Buenos Aires will once again be the
start of a good run for me. I will try my best to make sure it is."
Nadal strengthens the line-up in Argentina
which already features world number five David Ferrer, France's Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga the number nine and 12th ranked American John Isner.
After last week's loss Nadal's coach and
uncle Toni Nadal raised the possibility that the 14-time Grand Slam champion
may seek a new or expanded coaching team in a bid to arrest his slide in form.
"I understand that in sport results
come first and if you have to make a change, you have to do it," Toni
Nadal told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope last Wednesday.
"To lose so early in Australia is one
of the biggest disappointments we have had because in the last four months we
had been playing well.
"I hope it is only a blip and we move