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Old 02-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Clay, Sweet Clay

Interesting read from wall steet journal regarding comebacks after injury, and Nadal's

Two players who began a hiatus of at least six months when ranked in the top 10, then fell out of the top 10 while gone from the game, each took over a year to return to the rankings’ highest reaches. Juan Martin del Potro had the fastest comeback, but did so at age 22, four years younger than Nadal. Tommy Haas was 25 when he came back to the game and took three years to get back into the top 10. Neither had the record of Nadal. John McEnroe, who’s in the same class of all-time greats as Nadal, was already in the top 10 when he returned, like Nadal, and he was back at fighting trim quickly, winning three straight titles at the end of 1986 after missing seven-and-a-half months earlier in the year.

Nadal’s own, briefer hiatus provides a clue as to how he’ll do. Like last year, his 2009 absence of two-and-a-half months from tour came after he’d just run a series of clay titles and then suffered a surprise upset at a Grand Slam tournament. He returned two-and-a-half months later, ranked second in the world, and played exclusively on hard courts for 11 straight tournaments. It didn’t go well, by his high standards. Nadal didn’t win a title, reached just two finals and went 2-11 against the top 10. Then he got back onto clay, won 22 straight matches and the year’s last three majors. This time, Nadal has been gone for much longer. All the better, then, that his return comes on clay this time.
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