The pro tennis world's former No. 1 Rafael Nadal is looking to boost his rankings and has confirmed his participation in the Bet-At-Home Open in Hamburg, scheduled to run from July 27 to Aug. 2.
Previous reports said the No. 10-ranked Spaniard had planned to take some time off and return to action for the Rogers Cup Aug. 10 but then altered plans in an effort to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals in London. The tournament offers an additional 500 points for the winner, and Nadal will take a crack at the opportunity to improve his disappointing ranking and along the way gain some confidence and momentum leading up to the U.S. Open. The development was announced by the organizers this Monday and was followed by a confirming tweet.
— bet-at-home Open (@Am_Rothenbaum) July 20, 2015
The 14-time Grand Slam champion recently bowed out unceremoniously during the Wimbledon tournament, losing in the second round opposite German Dustin Brown. The clay court master’s last appearance in Hamburg goes way back to 2008, when he captured the title a year before the ATP elevated the tournament into a 500-point event. While he still holds the edge and experience over the pool of players, there are other notable names to contest the title, such as top-seed David Ferrer and Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Nadal, 29, is experiencing one of the worst slumps in his career and has only two wins, both 250-events, to show so far this season. His inclusion in Hamburg will mark only the second time he has participated in more than eight clay tournaments in one season. the first time being in 2005. The former top tennis player is currently training in his home in Manacor, Spain, and is being joined by friend and fellow tennis enthusiast Juan Monaco.
The Spaniard is also reeling from a series of poor showings in the major tournaments of the year, losing in the quarterfinal match of the Australian Open to Tomas Berdych, ending his 39 consecutive wins in Paris after bowing to Novak Djokovic during the quarterfinal leg of the French Open and being unceremoniously eliminated during the recently concluded Wimbledon tourney. “The King of Clay” is hoping to salvage a discouraging season in the upcoming tournament while pocketing close to €500,000 in prize money.