In men's tennis, the first major hotspot of the season turned out to be a resurrection of the past having Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the boat's helm. It was Federer who won the title in Melbourne, but Nadal can also build something big on the Aussie performance. The Spaniard seems to have rediscovered how to play without any signs of pain after a past season with so many troubles.

His schedule for 2017 is about to be extended as he has confirmed another tournament for the mid-season.

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As a preparation for Wimbledon, Nadal will head to Queen's where Andy Murray, the current world no. 1, is the biggest fish. Murray is the defending champion while Nadal can brag about winning the grass event back in 2008, the same year he took his maiden Wimbledon title.

An extended season means a healthy Nadal

Rafael Nadal's schedule for 2017 is getting bigger and bigger. With the clay season as the main target, Nadal is aiming for more now that his body is no longer an issue.

For the nearer future, Nadal is set to keep on playing on the hardcourt with 2 big stops in the United States at Indian Wells and Miami. After those 2 events, the entire ATP herd will cross the Atlantic Ocean in order to start digging for results on the European red clay.

For the 2017 Australian Open's runner-up, the clay season means a highly congested schedule with 4 ATP events where he is expected to play. Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome are all great opportunities to consolidate his ranking position but also a highly demanding part of the year in terms of the physical burden.

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Most players agree that clay takes its toll without asking too many questions.

In Melbourne, we all saw a revived Spanish matador moving freely on the tennis court. His intention to play at Queen's is a confirmation of how good it must feel to play with no pressure.

Nadal could win at least one Grand Slam in 2017

14 times Grand Slam winner, Nadal has been battling with injuries for the past couple of years. He hasn't won any Grand Slam since the French Open of 2014.

Now, with Djokovic and Murray not at their best, the 9 times French Open champion has a great chance to add more glowing dust on top of his legacy.

The French Open is by far his primary target while Wimbledon and US Open remains a matter of circumstances. At Wimbledon, despite a slow start in the early stages of his career, Nadal won twice and played a total of 5 finals. Since 2011 final on the London's grass, he did not get past the 4th round of the tournament.

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Overall, he looks in pretty good shape in 2017, and in the absence of an authoritarian contender, Nadal might as well fill the gaps.

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