Tennis week in review: Rafa returns

February 11, 2013, 7:10 PM

This week in tennis, Milos Raonic posed for pictures with some cute little kids, Jesse Levine met Dirk Nowitzki, and the King of Clay returned only to be demoted to the Prince of Clay.

Rafa Returns

Finally — after seven months without the fist pumps and wedgie picking, Rafael Nadal is back.

While it’s great that Rafa is back, his old game isn’t.

In his comeback tournament in Chile, Nadal reached the final only to lose to Horacio Zeballos in three sets. It was Zeballos’ first career ATP title and only the fifth clay final Nadal has ever lost.

SO IS IT TIME TO PANIC? IS THE 11-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION LOST FOREVER? AHHHHHHHH.

No. Take a deep breath. We can’t start judging Rafa’s play quite yet. Give him a few more tournaments and if he still isn’t back to his old form, then we can start to panic.

It’s Been a Good Week For…

Richard Gasquet

In the Open Sud de France final, Richard Gasquet beat Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 to win his second title of the season (he won the Qatar Open in January).

As a much-hyped junior with a flawless one-handed backhand, Gasquet was expected to be the next big star on tour. No, Gasquet didn’t become the next Roger Federer, but he’s been playing well, especially in the past year.

In 2011, Gasquet finished the year ranked No. 19 in the world and ended the year in the top 10. Gasquet is just a couple big wins away from the top seven.

Canada’s Fed Cup Team

A week after Canada’s Davis Cup team upset Spain to advance to their first World Group quarterfinals ever, Canada’s Fed Cup team advanced to the World Group II Playoffs.

After beating Brazil 2-1 on Saturday, Canada will play in the World Group II playoffs in April.

Photos of the Week…

Milos Raonic was back home in Toronto just days after his big Davis Cup win. The Milos Raonic Foundation donated $70,000 to the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Dirk Nowitzki is a huge tennis fan — he’s usually tweeting about it. But who knew he liked Canadian tennis?

This Week…

Milos Raonic will be in San Jose this week, looking to win his third straight title. I’ll have a preview on sportsnet.ca later in the week.

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