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Coach says Nadal resting for U.S. Open

AFP-JIJI

Rafael Nadal will bounce back from his shock first-round exit at Wimbledon in time for the U.S. Open next month, his coach insisted on Thursday.

The 27-year-old French Open champion suffered his earliest exit at a major when he was stunned by Belgium’s Steve Darcis on the first day of Wimbledon.

His straight sets defeat to Darcis, ranked 135th in the world, led to speculation about the impact of the clay-court season on a previous injury, an inflammation of the knee cap, which curtailed Nadal’s 2012 campaign.

But his uncle and coach Toni has insisted that the 12-time Grand Slam champion will ease himself back into his training regime in time for the U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 26.

“Rafa will come back. He has no fear of the (hard court) surface — he has nothing more to lose,” Toni Nadal told SID, an AFP subsidiary, at the ATP tournament in Stuttgart.

“Currently Rafa is doing physical training, but no racquet workouts. The break is important — he has played enough.”

According to his uncle, Rafael Nadal, who is at home in Mallorca, will return to the tour on Aug. 5 when he plays at the Montreal Masters, then Cincinnati, which starts Aug. 12, before the U.S. Open in New York.

Prior to Wimbledon, Nadal had reached the final of all nine tournaments he had entered since his return from a seven-month injury layoff, winning seven of them — including his eighth French Open title and the Masters in Indian Wells.

Vinci into quarterfinals

PALERMO, Italy
AP

Second-seeded Roberta Vinci is through to the Italiacom Open quarterfinals following a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) victory over 2011 runnerup Polona Hercog of Slovenia on Thursday.

Vinci was broken four times in the second set by Hercog.

The Italian next faces fifth-seeded Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino, who beat Nastassja Burnett of Italy 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Third-seeded Kristina Mladenovic was eliminated after a second-round upset by Estrella Cabeza Candela of Spain. The 20-year-old Frenchwoman lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6).

Candela faces Renata Voracova in the quarterfinals.

Fourth-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic was safely through after beating Karin Knapp of Italy 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a match which lasted 2 hours, 40 minutes.