During the first month of 2017, it's been an extraordinary ride for men's tennis, especially at the Australian Open. Two sleeping giants, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, suddenly bounced back and crushed their opponents. Eventually, Federer outshined Nadal in what was a surreal 5 sets final. If Federer is enjoying every ounce of time left as a professional player, the Spaniard has plenty of time left to improve his record. It's great to see him performing well again after poor results. By reaching the final in Melbourne, he improved his ranking by moving 3 spots up from 9th to 6th.

On the other side, Federer put himself back in the top 10 following his progress in the Australian open.

Nadal will remain on the hardcourt for a while

The ATP calendar is continuing its path on the hardcourt with upcoming tournaments in Rotterdam, Acapulco, Indian Wells, and Miami. The first 2 of them are from the ATP 500 category while Indian Wells and Miami are Masters 1000 events. Judging by his ranking a good run in these events might ensure re-entering in the top 4.

His current schedule is slightly different comparing to the previous season. In 2016, Nadal mixed up clay with hard for several weeks playing in Argentina and Brazil following the early exit from the Australian Open.

Now, he's doing the expected run trying to consolidate his game on the hardcourt. In Melbourne Nadal displayed a great deal of tennis despite losing the final act.

Nadal seems healthy and just fit for clay

It's great to have such a player competing without the limitations injuries always provide. Nadal went through a pile of injuries, whether it was a knee or a wrist. He needs a fit body for the most demanding surface of all, clay. His schedule for the first half of the season seems to revolve around the clay swing in Europe.

He is set to compete in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and Madrid. Except for Barcelona, all other events are from Masters 1000 category.

Last year, Nadal got himself a burst by winning in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but things went down from that point on. He lost to Murray in Madrid and to Djokovic in Rome. At the French Open, a wrist injury forced him to withdraw in the 3rd round.

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