Re: Will Nadal ever return to world number 1 again?
i believe i answered this earlier, but for the benefit of those too naive to take it on board, or those who are too busy (and rightly so) to read every post:
no, he will not
his clay points keep him in the top 4
if he loses RG, he falls, massively
he will not gain enough points in the hard court slams or hard court masters, although he may pick 1 up if everything falls together
indian wells or canada are the most likely choices, thought miami is do-able, if he avoids djokovic.
i think it is better for nadal, both mentally and emotionally, to go into grand slams as no 4. he loves being the underdog, due to his conditioned childhood complex
anyway, to get to the point:
Australian Open: QF. 4RD exit or earlier is possible, he's rusty and never plays well here
French Open: Final at the very least. Against Djokovic or Del Potro, depending on the draw.
Also, it will depend on whether he retains Monte Carlo, and who wins Rome
Wimbledon: 4RD/QF. SF/F if things go his way with the draw. he is still a better grass court player than djokovic and murray, though murray is catching up.
Us Open: QF, early exit possible. shouldn't put too much focus on this, he has one already, the one he needed for the collection
as i said, he'll be ranked 4th unless he wins 2 grand slams, or 1 slam and 4+ masters. that is the simple mathematical truth
and, being ranked 4th, is what will get his best performances out of him