Rafa Nadal positive on comeback despite suffering pain in VTR Open final defeat
Last Updated: February 13, 2013 12:37pm
Rafa Nadal: Desperate to make a successful return to the clay this summer
Rafa Nadal was determined to put a positive spin on his injury comeback despite suffering pain in Sunday's VTR Open final defeat in Chile.
The seven-time French Open champion, playing his first tournament in eight months after a chronic knee problem, went down in three sets to Argentina's Horacio Zeballos, ranked 73rd in the world.
It was a spluttering show from the Spanish 26-year-old in Vina del Mar, although easing to the final without dropping a set provided some comfort for the former world No 1.
"The knee is still bothering me, but you have to face adversity with the best possible face and look forward to keep working and enjoy what I like the most, to play tennis," Nadal said on the ATP website.
"A week ago we didn't know how the body would respond. At least now I know we can compete at a certain level. I think that was a positive week."
"A week ago we didn't know how the body would respond. At least now I know we can compete at a certain level. I think that was a positive week.
"I will try to keep improving my physical sensations day by day, which is the most important thing because I don't feel that my tennis level is bad. I need more time on court."
Nadal's defeat was only his fifth in 41 clay-court finals with the others coming against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and provides hope in the build-up to the major clay events and the rest of the summer.
"I was two points away from winning the title, but I said from first day that the result was not the most important thing, although I would've liked to win," the the 11-time Grand Slam champion added.
"To win four matches in a row is good news for me."
The world No 5 moves on to Sao Paulo this week for an indoor clay-court tournament and after a week off completes his south American comeback in Acapulco, Mexico.