17 June 2022

Rafael Nadal hoping to play at Wimbledon despite chronic foot issue

17 June 2022

Rafael Nadal is hopeful of being able to play at Wimbledon after treatment for his chronic foot problem.

The 36-year-old was pictured on crutches after winning his 14th French Open title almost two weeks ago and said he would not continue to play if the situation did not improve.

But Nadal has been encouraged by the reaction of his foot to nerve treatment and intends to fly to London for a week of practice, including a match at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic at Hurlingham, before making a final decision.

At a press conference in Majorca reported by Marca, Nadal said: “My intention is to play Wimbledon. The treatment and the week of training give me hope, and I wouldn’t go if I had no intention of playing. I will travel, play an exhibition at Hurlingham and do a week of training to see if it’s possible.

“Changes are immediately noticeable. Somehow the joint pain that did not allow me to support myself has decreased. I’m happy. I haven’t been limping for a week.”

Nadal, who confirmed he is to become a father for the first time, has not played at Wimbledon since 2019 having missed last year’s tournament after his foot problem flared up.

The most recent of his two titles came back in 2010 but he reached the semi-finals in 2018 and 2019 and has a chance of claiming the calendar Grand Slam having won the Australian and French Opens in the same year for the first time.

Nadal said: “I haven’t played Wimbledon for three years and I’m excited. I don’t know what can happen in five days, I’m cautious, but what has happened so far gives me hope that I can be present.

“Playing Roland Garros well helps my confidence level, but grass is a different surface. I haven’t played on grass for three years and it will be difficult. The first rounds will be crucial. If you pass them, the opponents, they are more difficult, but you play with more security.”

On the potential of winning all four grand slam titles in a season, an achievement Novak Djokovic fell one match short of last year, Nadal added: “The last one was Rod Laver more than 40 years ago. It’s hard to think that I can do it at 36 years old.”

Djokovic will also warm up for the defence of his Wimbledon title at Hurlingham.

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