Nadal 2-for-2: into singles, doubles finals
By Stephen Wade, APVINA DEL MAR, Chile -- Rafael Nadal beat Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday, putting the Spaniard in both finals of the VTR Open in Chile after a seven-month layoff with a left-knee injury and a stomach virus.
February 11, 2013, 12:52 am TWN
Nadal and Juan Monaco won their doubles semifinal on Friday, meaning the former No.1 is scheduled to play twice on Sunday.
Nadal will face Argentine Horacio Zeballos in the singles final, and Nadal and Monaco play Italy's Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace in doubles.
He has played six matches in five days and has not dropped a set.
“Every day improves and increases the confidence for me,” Nadal said. “Every day that the knee answers well is a lot of positive energy for me, and that's helping me a lot. The feeling day by day is better — the feeling on court.
“I am very happy what I am doing this whole week,” he added. “So I cannot ask for any more.”
Nadal had few problems against Chardy, though he did double fault three times in one game in the first set.
“The reality is that I'm in a final, which for me is very nice, very important after so much time without competing,” he said.
Nadal says he's still feeling pain in his left knee, but stresses his focus is not on the injury but the need to get sharper and quicker in the lead-up to the French Open. He's said it may be a few months before he knows if the nonsurgical therapy will allow him to regain his old form.
Nadal vs. Zeballos looks like a mismatch. Some have compared the field in this event to Nadal's usual walk through the first week of the French Open.
Zeballos has never won a tour singles title. Nadal has won 50, including 11 Grand Slams — seven at the French Open. He has also won eight doubles titles.