Rafa Nadal: “My intention is to play Wimbledon”
Rafa Nadal had cast some doubt on whether he would be ready for Wimbledon, but he was more positive about his chances on Friday.
Rafa Nadal has confirmed he is planning to play at Wimbledon after proving his fitness during a week of training on grass in Mallorca. The 22-time grand slam winner made his announcement in a news conference on Friday.
The 36-year-old has won the Australian Open and French Open titles already this year and is halfway towards a possible sweep of the grand slams, a feat that was last achieved in men’s singles by Australian Rod Laver in 1969. Nadal triumphed at Roland Garros despite needing pain-killing injections before every match, as he continues to battle a foot problem that has plagued him for much of his career.
Nadal said in Paris that he intended to undergo radiofrequency injections in a bid to ensure he could compete at the All England Club, and he has undergone two courses of such treatment.
First appearance at Wimbledon since 2019
Wimbledon starts on 27 June - it’s a tournament which Nadal won in 2008 and 2010, although he has not played there since 2019, when he reached the semi-finals.
Speaking in Mallorca on Friday, Nadal said: “I have managed to reduce the pain. I am happy to have been a week without going lame. They have been somewhat different pains. We have to wait to see how it evolves in the next few weeks. My intention is to play Wimbledon. Two radiofrequency sessions have been done and the evolution has been satisfactory. I don’t know what might happen in five days. For now, the treatment has allowed me to train and that has made me make the decision to fly to London.”
Nadal has labelled the idea of a calendar grand slam sweep as “crazy”, although Novak Djokovic came tantalisingly close last year, winning the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon before losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final. He is optimistic the London courts could prove helpful to his prospects, if he can carry over his clay form to the grass.
“I don’t think the grass hurts my foot more than other surfaces. From my point of view, the grass is softer than other surfaces,” Nadal said. “The only thing I can say is the week I have been practising here after my treatment has been positive, I have experienced some improvements, different feelings, in my foot and I take that as a positive thing. My goal or my intention is to travel to London next Monday, play two matches there before the tournament starts and follow my normal schedule to prepare the best possible way for Wimbledon. Today that’s all I can say. What can happen in a couple of days, if the situation changes or becomes more negative, then that will be the moment to explain another thing. Today I am positive. I am excited to travel to Wimbledon to try to play Wimbledon after three years.”