Andy Murray vs Robin Haase, Thursday, Time - 1:00pm BST - Discuss the match
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Rafael Nadal

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I really can't see him playing both. Defending SF points in both though. That's a lot to lose.
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^ I got the impression from a recent interview that keeping his knees as healthy as possible is more important to him than ranking points right now, and he's said repeatedly that hard-courts really punish the body, so that being the case he might as well withdraw from both.
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I really can't see him playing both. Defending SF points in both though. That's a lot to lose.

I read that if he does withdraw then both Del Potro and Berdych will overtake him in the rankings. That's a lot of ground to lose if he wants to get back to the top 4 quickly.
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At least at year end we will find out what his priorities were. It looks/sounds all vague at this point.
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I've given up wondering what Nadal will do now.  One report I read today says he's skipping both IW and Miami, and in another he denies it.  Rumour and counter-rumour as usual.
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There seems to be such excitement that he has beaten Martin Alund (No 91) and who has only played 6 matches on the ATP Tour (3-3).  He has yet to face anyone at the top.  I know he bageled him but I would expect that if he is to come back.  He did not play at full pelt and obviously did not need to.  When he does we will then see how much progress he hs made.  Some people say they think he is trying to avoid the big names at the moment.  He will have to face them at some time.
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He's been avoiding hard courts and in the process avoiding most of top players. His confidence must be low. But aren't Amalgro and Ferrer in the same event?
RG  is obviously his immediate goal and what happens after must depend on how the knees hold up.
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He's been avoiding hard courts and in the process avoiding most of top players. His confidence must be low. But aren't Amalgro and Ferrer in the same event?
RG  is obviously his immediate goal and what happens after must depend on how the knees hold up.

Yes Almagro and Ferrer are in the tournament - Rafa's due to face Almagro in the SF and Ferrer in the final. They'll definitely test Rafa and expose any weaknesses he has. I think he definitely needs a test though to show what his form is really like at the moment.
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Assuming he gets past Leonardo Mayer, I'm looking forward to seeing him up against Amalgro.

And if he gets past him, I can't wait to see a Nadal/Ferrer match.
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Personally I think Nadal would love an encounter against Ferrer. Not only it will tell him where his game is but also, it will give more confidence going forward. He pretty much owns Ferrer on clay. This though will be Ferrer’s golden opportunity to finally get a win over Nadal on clay after a really long time.
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Almagro has the game to test Rafa but mentally Nadal will crush him.

Ferrer will be a real test.
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Almagro should man up and take it to Nadal. Though he will have to get past Zeballos first. 
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There seems to be such excitement that he has beaten Martin Alund (No 91) and who has only played 6 matches on the ATP Tour (3-3).  He has yet to face anyone at the top.  I know he bageled him but I would expect that if he is to come back.  He did not play at full pelt and obviously did not need to.  When he does we will then see how much progress he hs made.  Some people say they think he is trying to avoid the big names at the moment.  He will have to face them at some time.
But wouldn't you if you were in the same situation?  He needs to get his confidence back both as to his knee and himself, and to do that surely the best way is to start with low-key tournaments and hopefully win at least one of them, which he has done, and take it from there?  I still don't swallow the stomach virus story which caused him to pull out of Abu Dhabi and then the AO because had he played AD he'd probably have been demolished and demoralised.
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But wouldn't you if you were in the same situation?  He needs to get his confidence back both as to his knee and himself, and to do that surely the best way is to start with low-key tournaments and hopefully win at least one of them, which he has done, and take it from there?  I still don't swallow the stomach virus story which caused him to pull out of Abu Dhabi and then the AO because had he played AD he'd probably have been demolished and demoralised.

If I was Rafa I'd play IW and Miami. I'd get more confidence by giving the top 4 seeds in those tournaments a run for their money than hold back and play 250 events until RG. He's going to go into RG scared I think of Fed, Djok and Muzz.
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Rafa is playing Indian Wells.
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