Wimbledon will be complicated, says clay king Rafa
Send a link to a friend
[June 12, 2017]
By Martyn Herman
PARIS (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal says
winning a French Open-Wimbledon double for the third time in his
career will be "complicated" but is highly motivated to have a go as
he prepares for the grasscourt season.
The 31-year-old captured an unprecedented 10th Roland Garros title
in sensational style on Sunday, thrashing Switzerland's Stan
Wawrinka in the final after a faultless fortnight in Paris.
It maintained a return to form and fitness for the Spaniard who also
reached the Australian Open final at the start of the year and who
climbed to number two in the rankings on Monday – his highest mark
since 2014, since when he has often been battling injuries.
Inevitably thoughts are already turning to Wimbledon and the
prospect of Nadal repeating his 2008 and 2010 victories – both of
which followed hot on the heels of winning French titles without
dropping a set as he did this year.
Nadal, never one to fuel the hype, warned against installing him as
a favorite on the Wimbledon lawns where he has also lost three
finals; especially as his recent record there is dismal.
"Since I have had problems with my knee, since 2012, playing on
grass has been very complicated for me," Nadal, who lost only 35
games at Roland Garros to become the first player to win the same
grand slam title 10 times in the professional era, said.
"We'll see how my knee behaves. Playing on grass is very special.
You need to play at a lower level. The body posture is down. You
have less stability.
"But keep in mind I played five finals in Wimbledon. I like playing
on grass. On grass, anything can happen. I'm motivated."
After steamrolling through the European claycourt season, compiling
a win-loss record of 24-1 with titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and
Madrid before regaining his French Open crown, Nadal will spend a
few days relaxing at home in Mallorca before playing in the
Wimbledon warm-up at Queen's Club.
After weeks spent on the bouncy red clay, it is a
tough transition and Nadal is well aware of the dangers having
suffered early defeats at Wimbledon to the likes of outsiders such
as Steve Darcis, Lukas Rosol and Dustin Brown.
[to top of second column]
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a shot during his match against Dustin
Brown of Germany at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London,
July 2, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Since losing in the 2011 final to Novak Djokovic he has not gone
beyond round four while last year he could not play because of the
left wrist injury that curtailed his French Open. He also pulled out
in 2009 when his creaking knee prevented him from trying to defend
"I could win the first two matches and then things could change,"
Nadal, whose first grand slam title for three years took his total
to 15, said. "The fact is that the two first matches could be very
"I need to feel strong, low, and have powerful legs to play well in
Wimbledon. If I have pain in the knees then I know from experience
that it's almost impossible. If I am healthy and I am able to have
the right preparation I'll have my chances.
Nadal's incredible form - he is 43-6 so far this season - means
there is also the strong possibility of overhauling Andy Murray and
ending the year as world number one for the first time since 2013.
"Winning these kind of titles, then you have chances to become any
number on the ranking. I don't know. I am playing well. If I am able
to keep playing well, why not?" he said.
"I am right now seeded No. 2. We will see what happens during the
rest of the year. It really depends on me."
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten