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Splint-Free Rafael Nadal in Intense Practice for US Open Campaign

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By Lou Imperial | August 18, 2014 4:41 PM EST

Rafael Nadal hasn't decided yet whether he'll participate in the upcoming US Open championship, but the Spaniard already showed that he won't give up the fight in reaching his dream.

REUTERS
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 26, 2014.

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Nadal, who already lost 2,000 of his 4,000 ATP World Ranking points he earned last year, continued to keep everybody guessing on his status ahead of the final Grand Slam of the year in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Nevertheless, Nadal is already hitting the ball without the protective splint during an intense training session with former world's no.1 and friend Carlos Moya in his hometown in Manacor, Spain last Friday.

"World number two Rafael Nadal practised with his friend and former world number one Carlos Moya in his home town, Manacor on Friday and the best part is that the former was not wearing any support on his wrist," posted on Tennis World USA on Saturday.

For Nadal fans, seeing the 14-time Grand Slam champion practicing without the splint is a good sign that he might recover just in time for the US Open championships. Although he's frequently using double-handed backhand shot, there's a possibility for Nadal to add a single-handed backhand to his repertoire of shots.

Trying To Stay Afloat

There's no doubt that his participation at the US Open would be critical to his current standing at the ATP world ranking. With Roger Federer reaching the finals of the Rogers Cup and winning a championship at the Cincinnati Masters, the Swiss Maestro is suddenly in position to steal the no.2 spot from the Mallorcan Bull with another impressive feat in New York.

There are several pundits suggesting Nadal to skip the hard-court major tournament if he's not feeling 100 percent. Despite the fact he might end up losing too many points, the decision to withdraw from the US Open competition would prevent more damage to his detached ligaments in his wrist and give him more breather for a strong finish this year.

Then again, it's all up to Nadal and his team to decide what to do next. The pressure is on for them to make a firm decision. Time is surely running out for Nadal to make up his mind.

For more Rafael Nadal news and updates, read more at IBT Sports.

To contact the editor, e-mail:

(Photo: REUTERS / Max Rossi)
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 26, 2014.
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