What’s with the tennis journeymen who play the match of their lives against Rafael Nadal?
(See 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at last year’s Wimbledon for details.)
Latest edition: Yesterday’s finals loss at the VTR Open in Chile to Horacio Zeballos, only the third time Nadal has lost a clay-court final (the others were to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer).
From the ESPN report:
Rafael Nadal said all along it might take a while to return to form after seven months off due to an inflamed left knee. In the meantime, the Spaniard is happy to be back on the court.
Nadal lost the singles and doubles finals at the VTR Open on Sunday, but sounded upbeat despite the disappointing finish to his comeback tournament.
“Everything was very positive,” he said. “It’s true I wanted to win the final, and it’s true I didn’t play my best match this afternoon. There are a lot of things that show I’m not perfect yet.
“I hope this is the beginning of a lot of tournaments and a lot of good results for me.”
Nadal was beaten by Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos in three sets in the singles final.
Nadal is unfailingly gracious in defeat, which happens all too regularly nowadays. Here’s hoping he regains that indomitable spirit that made him the most admirable figure in professional sports for so long.