Just read this article from Montreal Gazette.
MONTREAL — Rafael Nadal arrived at Dorval airport just as Wednesday night turned into Thursday morning, and was testing out the stadium court at the Rogers Cup around dinnertime Thursday.
As for his great rival, Roger Federer, there still was no definite word as of late Thursday, even though tournament director Eugene Lapierre was checking his Blackberry like clockwork.
After watching Nadal practice for nearly two hours Thursday one thing's for sure: the Rafa fans will see this week could be a shadow of the Rafa they're used to.
Hopefully a lot of it was jet lag, general stiffness after a long flight from his hometown of Manacor, Mallorca.
He didn't look very good and he wasn't pushing it.
Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, isn't with him. He used surrogate coach Francisco Roig as a hitting partner.
For the first hour and half, it was mostly forehands, a few backhands. Even after an hour, Nadal was still spraying the ball all over the place.
If he asked Roig once, he asked him a hundred times: Was it out?
Most often, it was.
Or it was in the net.
He was getting pretty aggravated about it, too, although there were no racquets tossed in anger.
Nadal did not test his battered knees Thursday, which were not taped. He moved more than two steps to hit a ball maybe two dozen times in all. When he did, he looked awkward - particularly when he was practicing returning serves on the deuce side of the court, moving towards his right to hit a backhand.
A couple of times, he grabbed those sore knees.
Until last week, there was doubt that Nadal would show up for this tournament - his first since a surprising loss to Swede Robin Soderling at the French Open more than two months ago.
He didn't grant any interviews Thursday. But in an interview on Spanish television last week, he waffled about whether he would be here; clearly, even though he was only practicing with Uncle Toni, it wasn't going too well.
Three days ago, Toni Nadal said on Spanish radio that Nadal would show, but warned not to expect much. "It's another thing to know what standard he will be at. I imagine he won't be in very good condition." he said. "He has been training but without really pushing it very much. To see what form he's in we'll have to see how he copes in a proper match."
On his website Thursday, Nadal said that he was basically starting from scratch, and that the tournaments in Canada and the U.S. would be "very complicated."
He also said that for nearly two months, he had been undergoing five hours of treatment every day.
All that doesn't sound too promising, does it?
But the main thing is that he's here. You know the competitor in him won't allow anything less than full effort.
It will be a challenge, because as a Masters 1000 event, the level at the Rogers Cup is extremely high. Nadal could get someone like Lleyton Hewitt, or rising American Sam Querrey, or the hot Tommy Haas, or the huge-serving Ivo Karlovic in his very first match.
The radio silence from Federer, meanwhile, is a little curious.
He's been cagey all season about what tournaments he would miss because of the birth of what turned out to be twin girls.
Most of that was because he didn't want to reveal the due date; and, as it turned out, the girls came early.
He surely has to know by now whether he's going to jump on a plane to Montreal this weekend. It's not exactly a decision you make on short notice - especially because he's due in Cincinnati the following week for another tournament; it's not just a quick hop and then back home to the wife and babies.
Federer has until this afternoon to officially pull out; the draw is set for 3 p.m. But his agent told Lapierre he would let him know Thursday.
Meanwhile, defending Montreal champion Novak Djokovic was out practicing Thursday - twice. Several of the other top players were also on the practice courts, including Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, and Croatia's Marin Cilic
We'll see how Nadal looks Friday, when he hits the practice courts again.