(February 5, 2013) LOS ANGELES – Tennis Channel has added former No. 1 Rafael Nadal’s first singles match in seven months to its live Wednesday lineup. The contest will take place at 4 p.m. ET at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar, Chile, and mark the singles return of one of the most popular stars on the ATP World Tour after a prolonged knee-injury absence. Nadal, who has won 11 major titles – including one at each of the four Grand Slams – has not played a tour singles match since being upset by Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon on June 28.
With an unprecedented seven French Open championships to his name and the best clay-court record in the Open Era (254-19; .930), Nadal is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time on clay, the surface used at this week’s event in Vina del Mar. He will face the winner of today’s first-round match between Frederico Delbonis and Guido Pella.
Leif Shiras will call the match for Tennis Channel. Encore presentations of Nadal’s comeback will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET and Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10 p.m. ET. The network had already planned to carry the singles semifinals and championship in Vina del Mar this weekend prior to Nadal’s entry into the tournament. That schedule is as follows (all times live):
Saturday, Feb. 9 Sunday, Feb. 10
5 p.m. – Semifinal #1 4 p.m. – Championship
8:30 p.m. – Semifinal #2