Rafael Nadal heads to London

After a week practising on grass in Majorca, Rafael Nadal arrived in London on Monday.

Rafael Nadal Roland-Garros 2022©Clément Mahoudeau / FFT
 - Amandine Reymond

Having held a press conference in Majorca on Friday to confirm his intention to play at Wimbledon, which runs from 27th June to 10th July, Rafael Nadal put an end to any speculation about his fitness since his victory at Roland-Garros on 5th June.

After playing all of his matches in Paris with an anaesthetised left foot to numb his intense pain, Rafael Nadal had said that he was going to try a new treatment upon his return to Spain and that his schedule for the rest of the season would depend on whether it worked. 

The pulsed radiofrequency treatment is designed to numb the nerves in the part of his left foot that is causing him so much pain and has clearly worked, as the multiple-time winner of Roland-Garros was able to quickly get back out on court and start practising on grass. This short preparation is far from ideal for the Spaniard but was deemed sufficient for him to head to London on Monday in order to play at Wimbledon from next week.

“The days after my win at Roland-Garros were difficult and intense but my week training on grass here in Majorca has been positive. I have been able to increase the duration and intensity of my practice sessions,” he explained at his press conference in Majorca, held during the ATP 250 tournament that is being played there this week. “My aim is to play two matches in London before the start of the tournament and to continue training so that I can prepare as well as possible. That’s all I can say today. I don’t know what it will be like in two or three days, but today I feel positive and happy to play again at Wimbledon after three years.”

Having already won the Australian Open and Roland-Garros this year, Rafael Nadal is in a good position to achieve a calendar Grand Slam for the first time in his career. With two Wimbledon titles under his belt – in 2008 and 2010 – as well as three appearances in the final and two in the semifinals, the Majorcan, who will be No.2 seed in London, is certainly one of the favourites for the title, but he remains cautious. And though he has also confirmed his intention to play in the US Open, he is aware that his plans could change from one day to the next, depending on his injury and the intense pain it can cause. 

“Grass is a very difficult surface and surprises happen very easily. We play very few tournaments on grass so it is difficult to find your rhythm by the time you get to Wimbledon, especially if you do well at Roland-Garros, like I and certain other players did. After Wimbledon, there’s another Grand Slam in the calendar, the US Open, so of course I will do everything I can to prepare well for that. My plan is to play at Wimbledon, have a rest, play in Montréal then at the US Open. It’s often worked well for me, so I don’t think I’ll change my plans unless I have no other choice.”