Nadal says he is optimistic about competing at Wimbledon
Mallorca, June 18 (IANS): Spanish tennis stalwart Rafael Nadal has raised hopes that he will compete at this year’s Wimbledon, saying his left-foot injury is showing signs of improvement, and that he will head to the United Kingdom soon.
“I’m happy. I haven’t limped for a week and the evolution of training is progressing,” said the winner of 22 Grand Slams here.
“From day to day the pain has been different and that’s progress. I have to wait a little. My intention is to try and play Wimbledon and this week has told me there is a chance,” added the 36-year-old, who clinched his 14th title at Roland Garros recently.
Nadal plans to travel to London on Monday to prepare for the third Grand Slam of the year.
“I’ve had two treatment sessions, as was planned. At the moment the progress, as I see it, is satisfactory,” Nadal was quoted as saying by atptour.com
Nadal had spoken about the foot troubles after winning the French Open, saying he had to periodically take injections to soothe the nerves of his injured foot.
Nadal has been nursing a foot injury for a long time, which flares up occasionally and has caused him to miss several tournaments in the last couple of years.
Speaking about the condition of his foot post the French Open title triumph, Nadal had said, “I was able to play during these two weeks with extreme conditions. I have been playing with injections on the nerves to sleep the foot, and that’s why I was able to play during these two weeks. Because I have no feelings on my foot, because my doctor was able to put anaesthetic injections on the nerves. That takes out the feeling on my foot. But at the same time, it’s a big risk in terms of less feelings, a little bit bigger risk of turning your ankle.”
Soon there was speculation the Nadal might not compete at Wimbledon, but he expressed cautious optimism on Friday eveing, saying, “I’m prudent because I know that things change. At the moment, I’ve been able to train over these five days. That’s progress and it allows me to return to Wimbledon after three years. I’m excited about it. It’s a question of taking it day by day, but giving myself a chance to compete.”
The Spaniard has not graced the lawns of Wimbledon since 2019, when he reached the semifinals losing to Roger Federer. “I haven’t played on grass for three years, you have to be patient with the progress. Every day I’ve improved and there is one week left of training in London before starting the tournament. I hope I can use it to get competitive.
“It’s true that playing well at Roland Garros gives you confidence, but grass is a very difficult surface. Any round is complicated. The start of the tournament will be vital for me because, if you manage to progress, later the opponents are more difficult, but then you have more confidence because you’ve found your rhythm on grass,” he added.