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Rafael Nadal – Revival in Switzerland?

One year ago, at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, Rafael Nadal was defeated in the quarter finals of the tournament by a 17-year-old Croatian Borna Coric. That ignominy was to be the last time Nadal played tennis in 2014 as immediately after this defeat he announced his withdrawal from all further tournaments that year – the reason being appendicitis.

The nine-time French Open champion and 14-time major singles winner, Nadal’s 2015 season has not been encouraging so far.  He started off with a first round exit in the Qatar Open , in spite of being the defending champion. A visibly unwell Nadal went down to Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals of the Australian Open, and again at the same stage in Indian Wells. Novak Djokovic, the man of the moment in tennis, defeated him on his favourite clay in the French Open quarter finals. As a result, his ranking dropped to No. 10 in the ATP singles ranking, his lowest ranking since April 2005.

In fact, the only tournament Nadal has won so far this year has been the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, back in March. Many have even dared to say that this may be the age of the Djoker and the Nadal-Federer domination is a thing of the past.

However, in the Swiss Indoors tournament currently on in Basel, the Spanish south-paw has been showing signs of returning to the form that made him famous. He survived a scare in the first round against Lukas Rosol by beating him in a comeback three-setter where Rosol was 2 points away from winning at the 2nd set. In the next match against Grigor Dimitrov, Nadal battled back from a break down in the final set to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and reach the quarter-finals. He is yet to identify his next opponent but the year could yet end on a high for him.

It is ironic how Rafael Nadal is scripting a comeback to the game in the homeland of his greatest professional rival, Roger Federer. The two could yet meet and it will be fireworks as usual, guaranteed.

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