2014/07/22

Zeballos Stuns Nadal to Win Chile Title

 

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Rafael Nadal

 

(February 10, 2013) In a battle of left-handers, Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos stopped Rafael Nadal from winning the first tournament of the Spaniard’s comeback on Sunday at Vina Del Mar. Zeballos, ranked 73 in the world stopped the eleven-time major champion and winner of a career 36 clay court tournaments 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-4 to win his first ATP World Tour tournament. The win also marks his first ever win over a top 10 player in three tries. He’s the second first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year joining Bernard Tomic who won Sydney.

 

Nadal had been off the tour for seven months due to a knee injury.

 

“It’s a dream for me,” said Zeballos. “To be able to play a final against Nadal was already good enough for me. It’s a moment that will stay in my memory for the rest of my life.”

Zeballos did not get past the the second round at any of the ATP World Tour level tournaments events he played in 2012, but  he subdues  four seeded players on the way to the win – fourth seed Pablo Andujar, fifth seed Albert Ramos, eighth seed Carlos Berlocq and top seed Nadal.

 

“I’ve worked really hard because I really wanted to be at this level,” Zeballos said. “For some months, I’ve been playing at a high level and I think I’m at the best moment of my career. I’m very strong physically and psychologically.”

 

From the beginning Zaballos battled with Nadal and kept pace with the Spaniard.

 

After splitting tiebreaks in the first two sets, Nadal led off the third set with a break at love, but the Argentine answered back with a break. Zeballos took many chances on his service returns. At 5-4 he broke Nadal at love to end the match which lasted two hours and 46 minutes.

 

The Mallorcan broke Zeballos to love to begin the third set, but quickly relinquished his advantage, allowing Zeballos to get back on serve. The Argentine made more of an impact on return as the set intensified, and at 5-4, he surged ahead to a 0/40 lead. Zeballos converted his first match point to pull off the stunning victory in two hours and 46 minutes.

 

“It was a great tournament for me, ” said Nadal. “If we take everything, it was positive. It’s true I wanted to win the final but in wasn’t possible. He made things better than me and I didn’t play my best match. I just need to keep working, practicing with hope, motivation and the right attitude to have better sensations every week. I hope it’s the beginning of a lot of good things for me.”

 

Zeballos became the first Argentine to beat Rafael Nadal on clay since Gaston Gaudio at the 2005 Buenos Aires tournament. He previous did beat two top 20 players – No. 19 Nalbandian (Chile 2011) and No. 11 Gonzalez (Houston 2010). The win snapped Nadal’s 15-match win streak on clay.

 

Zeballos joins Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in a very elite club – he has become the third player to defeat Nadal in a clay court final.

 

Nadal lost two finals in one night as Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace defeated Juan Mónaco and Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4 in the doubles final.

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Nadal Advances to Chile Final

 

 

Nadal returning

(February 9, 2013) Rafael Nadal dismissed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 in 63 minutes to move into the Vina del Mar final in his 2013 debut after a 7 month layoff due to a knee injury. The Spaniard will also play the doubles final on Sunday.

The Spaniard will be going for his 37th clay court title when he plays Horacio Zeballos. Nadal will be going for a Chile doubles on Sunday when he pairs up with Juan Monaco in the doubles final. Nadal has not dropped a set in singles or doubles this week.

 

“The ranking reflects your level for a whole year, and I was out seven months,” Nadal said of his ranging falling to No. 5. “If I can recover the level I had before I was hurt last year in June, by December I’ll be back up there – if the physical side, the knee responds.”

 

A spokesman for Nadal, Benito Perez-Barbadillo, announced on Saturday that Nadal and his manager Carlos Costa have set up their own events and sports management company. Nadal had been with management agency IMG.

 

 

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 9 FEBRUARY, 2013

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] [WC] R Nadal (ESP) d [3] J Chardy (FRA) 62 62
H Zeballos (ARG) d [8] C Berlocq (ARG) 63 76(4)

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 10 FEBRUARY, 2013

CENTRAL start 6:00 pm
[1] [WC] R Nadal (ESP) vs H Zeballos (ARG)
P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) vs J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP)

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Nadal Gains Singles Semifinals and Doubles Final in Chile

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(February 8, 2013) Rafael Nadal has moved into singles semifinals and the doubles final on Friday in Vina del Mar, Chile.  Nadal took out fellow Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 and paied up with Juan Monaco to win his doubles match 6-3, 6-3 over the Argentine pair of Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer.

Nadal feels that he’s making progress with the left knee. Which kept him off the tour for seven months.

“I felt better today than the first day, so that’s a positive thing,” he said. “That’s a thing that gives me confidence and hope for the future that we’re going in the right way. After seven months out of competition, even if I don’t have the pain in the knee, at the beginning you feel slower, you feel more tired than usual so you need time to adapt. That’s the thing. I need time to do it. I still feel pain in the knee some days and that’s something we hope and think will be improving week by week.”

Nadal will play France’s Jeremy Chardy in the singles semifinals on Saturday. Should he win, Nadal will have a busy day on Sunday having to play both the doubles and singles finals.

Nadal was asked about testing for performance-enhancing drugs. “Not everyone has to pay for some sinners,” Nadal said.

“The important thing is that those who are cheating, pay for their cheating,”

“If I go through a lot – or very few doping controls – people should know,” he added. “Though I went for seven months without competing, I went through a lot of tests.”

“I don’t have to justify anything. This information should be open the public.”

 

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 8 FEBRUARY, 2013

Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] [WC] R Nadal (ESP) d [7] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 61 64
[3] J Chardy (FRA) d [6] P Lorenzi (ITA) 62 63
H Zeballos (ARG) d [5] A Ramos (ESP) 61 57 76(6)
[8] C Berlocq (ARG) d G Rufin (FRA) walkover (abdominal strain)

Doubles – Semi-finals
P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d A Kuznetsov (RUS) / A Sa (BRA) 57 63 11-9
J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP) d C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) 63 64

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 9 FEBRUARY, 2013

CENTRAL start 6:30 pm
H Zeballos (ARG) vs [8] C Berlocq (ARG)

Not Before 10:00 PM
[1] [WC] R Nadal (ESP) vs [3] J Chardy (FRA)

 

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Nadal and Monaco Reach Doubles Semifinal in Vina del Mar

 

Monaco Nadal

(February 7, 2013) Rafael Nadal and Juan Monaco are in the doubles semifinals at the VTR Open after a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over Guillaume Ruffin and Filippo Volandri on Thursday. Nadal has played three straight days since returning to the ATP World Tour after a seven month injury hiatus.

Nadal plays singles on Friday versus Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

“He is worrying about his knees, he’s worried about his health. He’s worried about getting back to a good competitive level,” Nadal’s spokesman Benito Perez-Barbadillo said to media.

“He’s not worried in a negative way,” he added. “What he cares about is to be healthy and be ready to be competitive at every level he plays and to be at the same level as he was playing before.”

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 7 FEBRUARY, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[3] J Chardy (FRA) d [WC] C Garin (CHI) 46 63 62
H Zeballos (ARG) d [4] P Andujar (ESP) 63 63
[5] A Ramos (ESP) d F Volandri (ITA) 67(5) 63 75
[6] P Lorenzi (ITA) d T Robredo (ESP) 64 64
[7] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d A Montanes (ESP) 64 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) d [4] O Marach (AUT) / H Zeballos (ARG) 62 64
A Kuznetsov (RUS) / A Sa (BRA) d [PR] R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) 63 62
P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d P Andujar (ESP) / P Riba (ESP) 64 63
J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP) d G Rufin (FRA) / F Volandri (ITA) 62 76(4)

 

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 8 FEBRUARY, 2013

CENTRAL start 2:30 pm
[8] C Berlocq (ARG) vs G Rufin (FRA)

Not Before 6:00 PM
[1] [WC] R Nadal (ESP) vs [7] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
[3] J Chardy (FRA) vs [6] P Lorenzi (ITA)

Not Before 10:00 PM
C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) vs J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP)

COURT 1 start 3:30 pm
[5] A Ramos (ESP) vs H Zeballos (ARG)

Not Before 10:00 PM
A Kuznetsov (RUS) / A Sa (BRA) vs P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA)

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After Seven Months Nadal Returns with Singles Win in Chile

Rafael Nadal

(February 6, 2013) It’s been 222 days since Rafael Nadal was last on a tennis court playing singles, sidelined by a knee injury. The former No. 1 in the world made his return to singles on Wednesday on the clay courts of Vina del Mar Chile at the VTR Open.

Nadal first returned to the court on Tuesday winning a doubles match with Juan Monaco.

He opened his singles return with a 6-3, 6-2 victory Argentine Federico Delbonis. The Spaniard began the first set slowly, falling behind 0-2 but captured 6 out of the next seven games to capture the first set.

“The beginning was tough and Federico played at a very high level,” Nadal told media “I ran a lot and I’m happy because the knee held up well.”

After the first set Nadal was in complete control in front of the sellout crowd of 4500 in his debut in Chile.

“I’m interested in spending as much time as I can on court and a win allows me to play again on Friday,” said Nadal

Nadal is playing the “Latin American” Golden Swing on clay courts this month, participating in tournaments in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Acapulco, Mexico.

“If one day it (the knee) is worse, and one can’t compete at 100 percent, then it can’t be done,” he said.

Nadal will next play doubles on Thursday with Monaco versus Guillaume Rufin and Flippo Volandri.

He’ll play singles on Friday the winner of the Albert Montanes versus Daniel Gimeno-Traver match in the quarterfinals on Friday.

It’s been 222 days since Rafael Nadal was last on a tennis court playing singles, sidelined by a knee injury. The former No. 1 in the world made his return to singles on Wednesday on the clay courts of Vina del Mar Chile at the VTR Open.

Nadal first returned to the court on Tuesday winning a doubles match with Juan Monaco.

He opened his singles return with a 6-3, 6-2 victory Argentine Federico Delbonis. The Spaniard began the first set slowly, falling behind 0-2 but captured 6 out of the next seven games to capture the first set.

“The beginning was tough and Federico played at a very high level,” Nadal told media “I ran a lot and I’m happy because the knee held up well.”

After the first set Nadal was in complete control in front of the sellout crowd of 4500 in his debut in Chile.

“I’m interested in spending as much time as I can on court and a win allows me to play again on Friday,” said Nadal

Nadal is playing the “Latin American” Golden Swing on clay courts this month, participating in tournaments in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Acapulco, Mexico.

“If one day it (the knee) is worse, and one can’t compete at 100 percent, then it can’t be done,” he said.

Nadal will next play doubles on Thursday with Monaco versus Guillaume Rufin and Flippo Volandri.

He’ll play singles on Friday the winner of the Albert Montanes versus Daniel Gimeno-Traver match in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Nadal told the Associated Press: “Roland Garros is a very important event, but I never think about it until I get there. It doesn’t matter if I arrive ranked No. 15, 20, 30 or 40. All that matters is I can play like I did before and my physical condition is 100 percent. My object is to be able to compete at the highest level as soon as possible.”
RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 6 FEBRUARY, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[1] [WC] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] F Delbonis (ARG) 63 62
G Rufin (FRA) d [2] J Monaco (ARG) 76(3) 64
[8] C Berlocq (ARG) d S Giraldo (COL) 75 46 64

Singles – First Round
[5] A Ramos (ESP) d R Dutra Silva (BRA) 64 61
[6] P Lorenzi (ITA) d [Q] G Naso (ITA) 61 64
[7] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d J Sousa (POR) 64 46 61

Doubles – First Round
A Kuznetsov (RUS) / A Sa (BRA) d [1] D Bracciali (ITA) / M Melo (BRA) 26 62 10-4
P Andujar (ESP) / P Riba (ESP) d [3] D Brown (GER) / C Kas (GER) 64 64
[4] O Marach (AUT) / H Zeballos (ARG) d N Monroe (USA) / S Stadler (GER) 76(5) 64
P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d [WC] G Lama (CHI) / N Massu (CHI) 63 75
C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) d D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) / A Ramos (ESP) 62 63

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 7 FEBRUARY, 2013

CENTRAL start 2:00 pm
H Zeballos (ARG) vs [4] P Andujar (ESP)
T Robredo (ESP) vs [6] P Lorenzi (ITA)

Not Before 6:00 PM
G Rufin (FRA) / F Volandri (ITA) vs J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 8:00 PM
[3] J Chardy (FRA) vs [WC] C Garin (CHI)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
[5] A Ramos (ESP) vs F Volandri (ITA)
A Montanes (ESP) vs [7] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
C Berlocq (ARG) / L Mayer (ARG) vs [4] O Marach (AUT) / H Zeballos (ARG)
P Andujar (ESP) / P Riba (ESP) vs P Lorenzi (ITA) / P Starace (ITA)

COURT 2 start 5:00 pm

Not Before 5:00 PM
A Kuznetsov (RUS) / A Sa (BRA) vs [PR] R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) (ARG)

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Tennis Channel Adds Live Coverage of Nadal’s Singles Return On Wednesday

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(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

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Nadal Back on the Court After Seven Month Hiatus

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(February 5, 2013) Rafael Nadal is back on court after a more than seven month absence. The World No. 5 paired up with Juan Monaco to win a doubles match 6-3, 6-2 over Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy  in 65 minutes at the Vina del Mar clay court event in Chile.

 

Nadal was sidelined due to a knee injury since losing to Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon last summer.

The Spaniard will play his first singles match on Wednesday when he will face Argentine Federico Delbonis. The match will be televised on Tennis Channel at 4pm Eastern Time.

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