Rafael Nadal faces 'adversity' of on-going knee trouble

Spaniard lost in the Chile Open final

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The Independent Online

After reaching the Chile Open final on Sunday, in his first tournament in seven months, Rafael Nadal admitted that he is still troubled by his knee.

"It 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," said Nadal, who lost to Argentina's world No 73 Horacio Zeballos 7-6, 6-7, 4-6 in the final. It was the first tournament the world No 5 had played in since Wimbledon in June. "A week ago we didn't know how the body would respond," the 11-times Grand Slam champions added. "At least now I know we can compete at a certain level. I think that was a positive week.

"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's defeat was only his fifth in 41 clay-court finals with the others coming against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

"I was two points away from winning the title, but I said from the first day the result was not the most important thing, although I would've liked to win," he said. "To win four matches in a row is good news."

Nadal moves on to Sao Paulo this week for an indoor clay-court tournament and will then play in Acapulco, Mexico.