Rafael Nadal will go into the opening round of the US Open 2016 with high hopes, hopes that his injury woes are behind him and this is the Grand Slam where he properly announces his return to full-time action.
The first test towards that goal begins with a first round match against Denis Istomin on Monday. Win that, and another one awaits, and while Nadal is not exactly the kind of player who usually likes to make things easy for himself, the Spaniard will try to go through the opening round as quickly as possible.
Having returned to tennis action from a wrist injury, an injury which ended his French Open prematurely and kept him out of Wimbledon, Nadal showed signs of getting back to his best at the Rio Olympics, reaching the semifinals of the tournament with some typically-Nadal matches.
While he ended up without a medal in the men's singles â€“ the Spaniard lost to Kei Nishikori in the bronze medal match â€“ Nadal did manage to come away from Rio with a gold medal, in the men's doubles alongside Marc Lopez.
That gold medal will give the former world number one a lot of confidence coming into the US Open, even if his comeback was thwarted a little by an early exit in the Cincinnati Open. The key for Nadal, as it always is, is staying injury-free. If he does that, there is a good chance the Spaniard could add a 15th Grand Slam title to his collection.
"The wrist is still bothering me but is a process that I need to pass and a process that I need to go through, and I need to play to go through that [healing] process," Nadal said.
"With more rest the wrist will not go better. The wrist needs to adapt again to the game, needs to adapt again to hit the ball. Day by day, I hope that things going to go better."
It will get better if Nadal crosses the Istomin hurdle. Istomin is only ranked 109 in the world at the moment, but the 29-year-old comes with a lot of experience, even if he has a 0-4 head-to-head record against Nadal.
For Nadal, it's all about making sure that wrist plays OK and those forehands keep thundering to the other side of the court; if the No.4 seed does that, a second round place at the US Open 2016 will be his.
Where to Watch Live
Rafael Nadal vs Denis Istomin is the third match of the morning session at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The first match begins at 11 a.m. local time (8.30 p.m. IST). Below is the live streaming and TV information.
India: TV: Ten 1 and Ten 1 HD. Live Streaming: Tensports live.
US: TV: ESPN3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Europe: TV: EuroSport. Live Streaming: EuroSport Player.
Canada: TV: TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
Middle East: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
China: TV: CCTV.
Japan: TV: Wowow TV.
International: Live Streaming: US Open website.