Rafael Nadal finally made his competitive return to tennis this week as the Spaniard made the tennis betting news headlines by breezing through the early rounds of the VTR Open, Chile, in both the singles and doubles.
Nadal, who has been out the game for over seven months after suffering another bout of chronic knee tendinitis at Wimbledon last year, was set to play a part in the Australian Open last month but struggled to recover from illness, delaying his return date to early February.
And what a return it has proven to be, with Nadal dominating the clay court and showing that same menace and physical robustness we all love to watch. While his opening singles match – a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis – garners most of the attention, Nadal’s doubles form could in fact be more important on his road to recovery.
Playing alongside Juan Monaco, the pair are already in the semi-finals this week and appear a consistent partnership on court. Having bypassed the opening round with ease they were tested in the second set of their quarter-final clash on Thursday yet rose to prevail over Guillaume Rufin and Filippo Volandri 6-2 7-6.
Doubles tennis could be the best way for Nadal to fully recover, for his knees reportedly still hurt when on court and so the less running he does the better. Thankfully, his reactions and tactical knowledge, coupled with Monaco’s ability to chase down balls, means Nadal won’t overly strain himself during these matches, instead building confidence and form without risk of injury.
Granted, Nadal will want more play time in the singles court over the coming weeks, but fans in the bet365 tennis betting world should not write off the Spaniard’s chances of winning a doubles tournament or two this season.
2013 is very much a rehabilitation year for Nadal and alongside a player like Monaco could go far on the doubles scene. He may not change his game completely, but fans should expect more doubles partnerships over the coming months as he strengthens those knees.