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Nadal masters clay again in comeback from knee injury; now on to hard courts

Rafael Nadal plans to test his balky knee on the hard courts at Indian Wells to determine his playing schedule for the rest of the spring.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion feels encouraged about his comeback from injury after the past week, when he finally felt he could move freely. He dominated fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, the world's fourth-ranked player, to win the Mexican Open on Saturday.

Still, that was on clay, the only surface Nadal has competed on after missing seven months with a left knee injury. Hard courts put much more strain on his body, and he'll see how he weathers that starting later this week in California.

Nadal plays on a hard court Monday night, but he's not worried. He faces Juan Martin del Potro in an exhibition at Madison Square Garden. Serena Williams takes on Victoria Azarenka in the earlier match.