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Nadal admits knee is still a problem

ESPN staff
February 11, 2013
Rafael Nadal returned to action this week and took positives from his run to the final © Getty Images

Rafael Nadal has admitted his knee injury is still causing him discomfort and that he has work to do get back to his best.

The Spaniard returned from seven months on the sidelines in Chile last week and made it to the final of the VTR Open.

He suffered a shock three-set defeat to Horacio Zeballos but moved to take the positives from the week despite still being troubled by his knee injury.

"A week ago we didn't know how the body would respond," he said. "[Now] at least I know we can compete at a certain level. I think that was a positive week.

"The knee is still bothering me, but you have to face adversity with the best possible face and look forward to keep working and enjoy what I like the most, to play tennis."

Nadal has slipped to No. 5 in the world rankings and admits there is plenty of work to do before he can compete at the top of the sport once again.

He said: "I will try to keep improving my physical sensations day by day, which is the most important thing because I don't feel that my tennis level is bad. I need more time on court."

Nadal had huge support from the crowd in Chile and that acted as a spur for him. He said: "The tennis is important, but for me the best thing was to have the feelings I've had this week, with a full stadium and one of the best crowds I've ever had in my life. It's a place I won't forget because of the love people gave me.

"I was two points away from winning the title, but I said from first day that the result was not the most important thing, although I would've liked to win. My opponent won, he deserved it and I congratulate him. Still, to win four matches in a row is good news for me."

Men's rankings: 1. Novak Djokovic (SRB), 2. Roger Federer (SUI), 3. Andy Murray (GBR), 4. David Ferrer (ESP), 5. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 6. Tomas Berdych (CZE), 7. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG), 8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), 9. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB), 10. Richard Gasquet (FRA)

Women's rankings: 1. Victoria Azarenka (BLR), 2. Serena Williams (USA), 3. Maria Sharapova (RUS), 4. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 5. Li Na (CHN), 6. Angelique Kerber (GER), 7. Sara Errani (ITA), 8. Petra Kvitova (CZE), 9. Samantha Stosur (AUS), 10. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

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