• ATP Tour

Toni Nadal: Rafa will come back

ESPN staff
July 10, 2013
Rafael Nadal needs a break from the practice courts, according to his uncle Toni Nadal © AP

Rafael Nadal has nothing to fear and nothing to lose as he prepares for the US Open, according to his uncle and trainer Toni Nadal.

The Spaniard became the first reigning French Open champion to bow out in the first round at Wimbledon since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997 after being stunned by Belgium's Steve Darcis on day one of the Championships.

The manner of Nadal's defeat led to further speculation about the impact of a full clay court season on the chronic knee injury that curtailed his 2012 season - a lay-off that also followed an early exit at Wimbledon at the hands of Lukas Rosol.

But Toni Nadal insists that the 12-time grand slam champion is not set for another extended spell on the sidelines, even if he must ease himself slowly back into his training regime.

"Rafa will come back. He has no fear of this break - he has nothing more to lose," Toni Nadal told reporters at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart .

"Currently Rafa is doing physical training, but no court workouts. The break is important - he has played enough."

Nadal had reached the final of all nine tournaments he had entered prior to Wimbledon, winning seven of them - including his eighth French Open crown and the BNP Paribas Masters on the hard courts of Indian Wells.

He will take the rest of the month off before kicking off his US Open warm-up campaign at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, which begins on August 5, before heading to Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Masters a week later.

The US Open begins on August 26.

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