After seven months away treating a torn and inflamed tendon in his left knee, Rafael Nadal left many questions unanswered in his comeback tournament.
Nadal lost both the singles and doubles finals in the space of a few hours on Sunday at the VTR Open in Chile. And Horacio Zeballos, whose three-set victory over Nadal in singles brought him the first title of his career, repeated what Nadal has been saying.
''Not playing has hurt him,'' Zeballos said. ''Four or five tournaments back should get him back in form. I'd say this was the perfect time to play Rafa considering the confidence factor and everything.''
In the final, Zeballos served better, hit more cross-court winners from sharp angles, and was quicker on clay than the Spaniard, the seven-time French Open champion who was introduced throughout the tournament as ''The King of Clay.''
Nadal said the loss was a reminder of what he already knew: returning to challenge the other three in tennis' top four - Novak Djokovic, Roger F...