Nadal returns to Davis Cup action

‘Andreescu deserved to win’ – Kerber after losing Indian Wells final

World number one Rafa Nadal makes his first Davis Cup appearance in over two years for Spain, hoping to put some difficult months through injury behind him.

Spain faces Alexander Zverev’s Germany this weekend in a highly-anticipated quarter-final clash taking place on the clay courts of Plaza de Toros de Valencia.

The home clay-court advantage will see the formidable Spanish team of Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta, Feliciano Lopez and David Ferre head into the weekend’s event as firm favourites to advance against Germany’s Zverev, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Jan-Lennard Struff, Tim Puetz and Maximilian Marterer.

In an interview conducted while sitting with his teammates, Nadal spoke honestly about the pain he has been going through due to injuries he has been suffering from.

“I would swap having played a Grand Slam for having suffered less pain,” he admitted.”I think that throughout my career I have missed more tournaments than my rivals.

“I cried in Acapulco and in Australia, they are complicated times, injuries are the reality of any athlete but they are tournaments which pass and won’t come back.”

The 31-year-old Nadal, who has won 16 singles grand slam titles, added he was excited to be making a return to Davis Cup action and really liked playing on the clay courts of Valencia.

“I like the court in the bullring in Valencia, we have played in bullrings before in Madrid, Alicante, Cordoba, always with good results,” he said.”I don’t know if I will play or not on Friday, we’ll see how the week goes.

“I’m very hopeful and I hope that my body will respond well physically because the last five months have been complicated, since Shanghai.

“When my knee recovered in Australia, then came the back injury. I can’t wait to get back playing and I’m here to try.”After a difficult time of late, Nadal is again feeling optimistic about the future.

“My dream is to be happy, the most important thing is being healthy and being with people I love,” he explained.”After, I can keep playing tennis as much as I can.”