Back in the warm confines of his Spanish homeland, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal is experiencing the type of surging comeback that fans have been craving for years.  After a dismal 2015 in which he failed to win a single Grand Slam (for the first time since 2004), Nadal shamefully fell in the first round of the Australian Open.  He clearly hasn’t been the same great player we’ve grown so used to, but after wrapping up a Monte Carlo Masters title that featured wins against both Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka, Rafa is cruising through the Barcelona Open, showing the world that he is back!

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Nadal looking strong in practice (Photo Credit: © Marianne Bevis)

At his best, Nadal is one of the most entertaining players to watch on the ATP tour, showcasing what physicality and sheer brawn can bring to the tennis court, but age hasn’t been kind to the Spaniard, who has sunk to 5th in the world rankings.  He’s had numerous injuries over the years, and there’s a feeling that his star may have passed at age 29, especially when one considers the arrival of a whole new class of young tennis stars like Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori, and given the tremendous heights Novak Djokovic has soared to.  What hope does an aging veteran star really have?

But Nadal is clearly seeking a comeback to the upper echelons of men’s tennis.  His performances this clay court season seem to be building up to a potential climax at, you guessed it: the 2016 French Open.  This is and always has been Nadal’s stomping ground, and he has won there 9 times!  While one could certainly argue that his best days are well behind him, Nadal winning in Paris wouldn’t surprise anyone.  A potentially mouthwatering final versus Djokovic would be a must-watch match. Here is a short video of Nadal highlights from the Monte Carlo Masters final:

But it all hinges on Nadal’s health.  When in good spirits, Nadal is quite unbeatable on clay.  But if he pulls or strains some key part of his body, he could be forced into retiring from an all-important match, which at this point could be devastating to his career.  I think most tennis fans would love to see a resurgence to form of this superstar, but one has to admit that despite this strong run of wins, Nadal is currently walking a tenuous line.  Let’s hope he can stay healthy and regain his top play once again!

Nicholas Spiller

Nicholas Spiller

Nicholas Spiller has enjoyed the sport of tennis for many years.An enthusiast who covers all major sports, he finds tennis to be one of the most pleasant and inspirational games around to watch. He also spends his time as a musician in Los Angeles.
Nicholas Spiller

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