x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Realistic Nadal steps back on court

Rafael Nadal confesses he is unsure of whether he will be able to regain his world No 1 ranking from Roger Federer in the immediate future.

Rafael Nadal has confessed he is unsure of whether he will be able to regain his world No 1 ranking from Roger Federer in the immediate future. "What's left of the season is going to be difficult because, after stopping for a month - practically two - you lose your rhythm while others continue on competing," said Nadal. He returned to training on Monday after missing out on the action since the fourth round of the French Open against Robin Soderling when the right knee gave away because of his unorthodox style of play.

Nadal missed out on Wimbledon where Federer won a record 15th grand slam to wrest back the top perch from where Nadal had toppled the Swiss. The Spaniard, speaking of his rivalry with the 27-year-old Federer, said: "Until I am 100 per cent, you have to be realistic. Without a doubt, I also have one advantage over Federer - that I'm 23 years old." Nadal is returning from a leg problem for the third time since October and is hoping to return to competitive action at next month's Montreal Masters.

Meanwhile, American Sam Querrey started his quest to move up the rankings in time for the US Open in the right way at the Indianapolis Championships. He beat Arnaud Clement of France 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round. "It'd be great to be seeded at the US Open - that's kind of a little short-term goal," said the third seed Querrey, ranked 37 in the world. Eighth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan beat Kevin Kim of the United States, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and seventh-seeded Marc Gicquel of France beat Ernests Gulbis of Lativa, 6-2, 6-3.

France's Nathalie Dechy called time on her career as she is expecting a child. Dechy, 30, reached the Australian Open semi-finals in 2005 and is ranked 88th. * With agencies