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Nadal tastes victory away from the tennis court

Rafael Nadal Fo05062011 213

If my maximum is enough to be No. 1, then I'm happy, and if it's enough to be No. 8, then I'll be happy also

While rival Novak Djokovic was storming his way to a fourth Australian Open title, Rafael Nadal tasted victory of a different kind.

The Spaniard, who has been sidelined since June with a knee injury, won his first poker tournament on PokerStars.es. But while Djokovic’s winner’s cheque in Melbourne was for a hefty $2,430,000 (£1.6 million), Nadal scooped just €152.40 (£130) for his success.

For the first time in nearly eight years, Nadal finds himself outside the top four in the world rankings, with compatriot David Ferrer, a semi-finalist in Melbourne, moving ahead of him.

Nadal, who has confirmed he will make his long-awaited comeback at the VTR Open in Chile next week, has not been ranked outside the top four since May 2005, before he won his first French Open title.

He will then play two other events of the Latin American swing – at the Brasil Open and Abierto Mexicana Telcel. He won the titles in Sao Paolo and Acapulco the last time he played the events back in 2005 but will be making his debut in Vina del Mar.

"My goal, when I return, is to give it all I've got," Nadal said recently. "If my maximum is enough to be No. 1, then I'm happy, and if it's enough to be No. 8, then I'll be happy also."

Posted by: tennishead magazine

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