Rafael Nadal has become used to making comebacks in an injury-ravaged career. This last one, though, may be the most unexpected — and satisfying.
Sidelined by a wrist injury for two long stretches last year, Nadal didn't believe he'd be playing at his top level and contending again for titles until later this spring, when the tour moves to his beloved clay.
Then he came to Melbourne and somehow kept grinding out win after win. He made it all the way to the Australian Open final, where he fell just short in his bid to win his 15th major by losing to long-time rival Roger Federer, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
It had been a lean couple of years for Nadal, but he believes...