Qué bueno que volviste
by Sebastián Fest (DPA) | Translated for vamosbrigade.com by nou.amic

Sebastiá Fest on Twitter on January 13th 2013:-
Faltan detalles por cerrar y un anuncio oficial, pero el regreso de@RafaelNadal a Sudamérica es un hecho
Translation by nou.amic:-
There are still some details to be agreed on and an official announcement to be made but Rafa's return to South America is a fact.
The tweet links to the following article. (This is the original, in Spanish).

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by rafafanatic from RG 2012

Welcome back

By Sebastián Fest (DPA) | Translated by nou.amic for http://www.vamosbrigade.com

Eight years after his first and last visit to South America, Rafael Nadal's return there is a fact, with Chile or Brazil the ex world number one's most likely first landing point.

"The South American swing is a fact," DPA has been assured by sources close to the player, who, recovered from a double injury to his knee, has been practising since 30 December on clay, the surface the South American swing tournaments are played on.

So, Nadal's "operation come back", after his not playing for eight months, will have an unexpected scenario, South America, a region where tennis is extremely popular.

There is something rather paradoxical about that return, though, as the tournaments in Chile, Brazil and Argentina have insisted for years on having Nadal once again play the swing without any success and now it is the ex number one who wants to be there.

The only event officially confirmed for his return is the Mexican Open, but the Spaniard wants to take advantage of the weeks available on the calendar before that to play on his favourite surface and accumulate matches, rhythm and confidence before 2013's big tournaments get under way. 

So, Viña del Mar, a relatively minor event on the calendar, could find itself with the presence of the seven time Roland Garros champion, which seemed impossible only a short time ago. 

Carlos Costa, Nadal's manager, confirmed this week to the (Chilean) newspaper 'La Tercera' that he is "talking" with the Viña del Mar organisers. 

"The possibility exists," said the Chilean tournament's director, Jaime Fillol, who has no qualms about Nadal's financial requirements, 1.2 million dollars just for his appearance at the event according to the South American media, although the amount agreed upon with Acapulco clearly would be lower.

Sao Paulo has been negotiating with Nadal to get him to go there, and even the man chiefly responsible for the Buenos Aires tournament, Miguel Nido, has admitted that the Brazilians have a much better chance than they have, despite the Argentinian tournament handing out bigger prizes than the other South American tournaments: "That's the way I see it, that's my personal opinion," Nido admitted to DPA.

The problem Buenos Aires has, over and above getting the money together to pay for Nadal's appearance, is that it takes place the week before Acapulco. The Mexican tournament is only a six-day one, with the final played on the Saturday, a real complication if Nadal were to play in the final in Argentina on the previous Sunday. The Spaniard also has an exhibition programmed in New York against the Argentinian Juan Martín del Potro on Monday 4 March.

Expectation raised on the tour by his return

After almost a decade at the top, Nadal's priority now is to take care of his body, stop and take breaks when necessary, and handle his calendar better so as to prolong his career. The great objective for him is giving his maximum in Grand Slam tournaments and increasing his total of 11 Grand Slam titles.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic said this week in Melbourne, where the Australian Open begins tomorrow, that Nadal's return will be good news, but Del Potro went even further today: 

"I think that when Rafa comes back everybody is going to be pleased and it's going to be like a revolution because the great Rafa Nadal will have returned to playing tennis," said the Argentinian to DPA in Melbourne.

Rafa Nadal