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Just something about the comfort of clay

Updated: May 3, 2012, 11:07 AM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

A month ago, Rafael Nadal was despondent. In a crowded press room underneath the stadium at the Sony Ericsson Open, he announced he was withdrawing from his semifinal match with Andy Murray.

"My knees won't let me play today," he said, and you could see the disappointment in his eyes. "I want to arrive to the clay court season with the right conditions."

Ah, the soothing comfort of clay.

Back on his home turf in Europe, Rafa has been an entirely different ...

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