Rafael Nadal returns from injury, faces huge challenge in pivotal Davis Cup

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Rafael Nadal faces a huge Davis Cup appearance this weekend as he returns for his first appearance in competition since limping out of the Australian Open in January against Marin Cilic with a hip injury. The 16-time Grand Slam winner will be representing Spain against Germany at the Plaza de Toros bullring in Valencia. Spain has won the Davis Cup four times with Nadal, in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Nadal has lost only once in Davis Cup singles in his debut tournament in 2004, having won his last 22 matches in the tournament. After Roger Federer's struggles at the Miami Open vaulted Nadal back to the No. 1 player in the world, Nadal is looking to reaffirm that status.

"Physically, I have felt good in the last few days and I hope to be well for Friday," Nadal said of his upcoming matchup with Philip Kohlschreiber, via Yahoo Sports.

"I have always had great experiences in the Davis Cup and this is another opportunity."

Nadal's next big test will be on Sunday against Alexander Zverev, who is the No. 4 player in the world.

As Nadal continues to recover from his injuries, this tournament will be an excellent benchmark for the 31-year-old Spaniard. It will also be a key test to determine his status for the upcoming French Open in May.

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