Rafael Nadal not 100 per cent ahead of Davis Cup return


World No 1 Rafael Nadal will play his first match since the Australian Open on Friday when he takes on Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

Nadal, 31, has been sidelined since retiring with a hip problem against Marin Cilic in his Melbourne quarter-final.

Despite his two-month absence from the tour, Nadal reclaimed the top ranking after Roger Federer's surprise loss to world number 175 Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Miami Open last week.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion, representing Spain, will face Germany's Kohlschreiber in Valencia on his favoured clay surface.

"It's been a tough few months," admitted Nadal ahead of his comeback. "But I am excited to be back and hopefully it will be a positive week for me."

Rafael Nadal receiving medical attention during his quarter-final against Marin Cilic at the 2018 Australian Open.

Coach and long-time friend Carlos Moya urged fans to be patient as Nadal plots his European spring campaign which, if all goes to script, will see him clinch an 11th French Open in June.

"He is not at 100 per cent yet, but if he can win a match or two, it can help him," said Moya.

Fellow Spaniard David Ferrer plays Germany's world No 4 Alexander Zverev in the other rubber.

Nadal, who has won his last 22 Davis Cup singles matches, will then take on Zverev in the first match of the reverse singles on Sunday.

He has not lost a Davis Cup singles match since a debut defeat by Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic in 2004.

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