Nadal eyes Japan Open defence


Rafael Nadal will defend his title at the Japan Open starting Monday as he makes his return to the tour following defeat to Novak Djokovic in last month’s US Open final. The 25-year-old Spaniard lost his world number one ranking to Djokovic after the Serb’s triumph at Wimbledon and suffered an early exit in Montreal in the build-up to the final Grand Slam of the year in New York. But Nadal comes into the Tokyo tournament in fine form after helping Spain reach the Davis Cup final by beating France’s Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a 4-1 win for his team. “It’s exciting. For me, motivation is high and it’s always exciting to go back, especially when you come back to the place you won last year. The memories and emotions are higher,” said world number two Nadal.