US Open 2012: Is Rafael Nadal a Genuine Title Contender?
He hasn't won a tournament on any surface other than clay in more than a year-and-a-half.
So can 2010 US Open champion Rafael Nadal be considered a serious contender for this year's Open?
The last time Rafa won a hard court title was at Tokyo in October 2010, a month after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final to win his only US Open at Flushing Meadow.
Injuries, fatigue and the form of Djokovic have combined to make the "King of Clay" vulnerable on anything other than his favorite surface.
Rafa's form leading into this year's clay court season was patchy.
Despite taking six weeks off after losing to Djokovic in the Australian Open final, he failed to impress in the spring US hard court Masters events.