Rafael Nadal has denied Spanish media reports that he will not take part in the Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami next month, as he returns from a serious knee injury.
KING OF CLAY: Nadal celebrates his win over Diego Sebastian Schwartzman during the Mexico ATP Open in Acapulco
Nadal only recently returned to competition after a seven-month layoff, but has so far decided to play in clay court tournaments in Chile, Brazil and this week at the Mexican Open in Acapulco.
“My intention is to go to Indian Wells, my priority is to play there, but if I don't feel comfortable and I’m not OK then I will have to take a decision,” he said after a 6-2, 6-2 wins over Sebastian Schwartzman in his opening match in Acapulco. “These media companies cannot know more than me.”
The 11-time Grand Slam champion insisted, however, that his main objective was still finding full fitness and form before a busy stretch of European clay court tournaments leading up to the French Open in May. “My day-to-day objective is to recuperate the knee until it gets back to 100 per cent and I am able to return to competing and full training as quickly as possible.
If this happens then the objectives are the same as they have always been,” Nadal added. “If I don't recover, we will accept it and deal with it calmly and continue being positive. We will continue working so that when I am fine I can return to competing at the highest level in a short space of time.
You need to recover the speed and concentration that only comes with competition and seven months without competing takes its toll.” Rafael Nadal needed just over an hour to beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Mexican Open.
He is seeded No. 2 in the clay court tournament, behind fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who also won his first-round match on Tuesday, defeating Antonio Veic 6-0, 6-3. Ferrer is the three-time defending champion and won last week in Buenos Aires, his second title of the season.
Somdev loses in Dubai
Somdev Devvarman bowed out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship losing to Argentina’s Juan-Martin del Potro in straight sets yesterday. The world No 7 defeated Devvarman 6-4 6-4 in over an hour to enter the quarter-final of the ATP 500 event, while Michael Llodra upset eighthranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets on Tuesday night.
Top ranked Novak Djokovic, looking for his fourth Dubai title, had a much easier time against good friend and fellow Serb Viktor Troicki, beating him 6-1 6-4 in just over an hour. Coming off his third consecutive Australian Open title, Djokovic broke the 44th-ranked Troicki twice to easily win the first set.
The second was tighter, with Troicki breaking Djokovic to even the set at 4-4. But Djokovic broke back and then clinched the match with a slicing serve that Troicki couldn’t return. “That was a great one, especially in the first set, considering the fact I haven’t played an official tournament for three, four weeks,” said Djokovic. “This is one of the fastest hard courts on the tour outdoors.
So you need to be really committed to every point and play well.” Tsonga, who had never lost in six meetings against countryman Llodra, said: “Maybe if I win the first set it gives me enough energy, maybe to play in the second and maybe win. “But after that, I’m just disappointed and then I’m scared.
I was supposed to win this set, and you do like two double faults because you’re thinking about it. That’s it.” In other matches, sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych made easy work of American wild-card entry Rajeev Ram, beating him 6-1 6-3, while Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko registered the other upset of the day when he beat a lukewarm ninth-ranked Janko Tipsarevic 6-0 7-5.