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Rafael Nadal, Chasing Grand Slam, Will Head to Wimbledon


PARIS — The Grand Slam remains to be in play.

On Friday, Rafael Nadal confirmed at a news conference in Majorca that he’ll travel to London on Monday with the intention of playing Wimbledon, which begins on June 27.

Nadal, who has won the primary two Grand Slam tournaments of the 12 months, had solid doubt on his participation in Wimbledon due to his chronic left foot problem.

The condition, Muller-Weiss syndrome, has troubled him since his late teens. He received painkilling injections from his personal physician to numb the foot before each of his matches at this 12 months’s French Open.

Nadal won that clay-court tournament for the 14th time on June 5, extending his lead within the three-way major titles race with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Nadal now has a men’s record 22 Grand Slam singles titles, two greater than Djokovic, whom Nadal beat within the quarterfinals in Paris, and Federer, who at age 40 remains to be recovering from his latest knee surgery. But Nadal said he wouldn’t take similar injections or measures at Wimbledon and as a substitute has tried to search out a longer-term solution for his foot by undergoing radio frequency ablation, which deadens nerves through using radio waves.

Nadal, 36, had the procedure in Barcelona on June 7, leaving the medical facility on crutches, but he resumed practicing on grass this week on his home island of Majorca. He said on Friday that though the procedure didn’t give him “100%” relief immediately, he was in a position to push off along with his left foot with less pain. He said that there was still occasional numbness in his foot but that he had been told that ought to dissipate with time.

“I’m content,” Nadal said on Friday. “I’ve gone per week without limping. Each day, I actually have experienced some different form of pain than what I had before. That’s progress for me. We may have to attend and see how every little thing evolves.”

While confirming that he intended to play Wimbledon, Nadal also confirmed that he and his wife Maria Francisca Perello predict their first child.

“I don’t understand how it changes your life because I don’t have experience with that,” he said. “But this doesn’t change my skilled life.”

On Friday, Nadal trained on grass on the Mallorca Country Club with Feliciano Lopez, the 40-year-old Spanish veteran who is ready to play Wimbledon for the twentieth consecutive time.

Nadal, who won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, has not played in any grass-court tournament since 2019, when he lost within the semifinals of Wimbledon to his longtime rival Federer.

“I’ve still got per week of coaching in London, and if every little thing goes well I’ll start the tournament,” said Nadal, who’s scheduled to play in an exhibition in London before Wimbledon. “Playing well on the French Open helps by way of confidence and offers you a bit more peace of mind. But grass is a really difficult surface within the sense that there may be little logic. Obviously when you’ve gone the years that I’ve gone without playing on grass and with the actual fact I’m not going to play official matches beforehand, any round could possibly be complicated.”

Nadal has made a habit of talking down his possibilities, but the lads’s field at Wimbledon can be understrength this 12 months. Wimbledon has barred Russian and Belarusian players due to the war in Ukraine, which suggests that No. 1 ranked Daniil Medvedev and No. 8 Andrey Rublev, each Russians, is not going to participate. No. 2 Alexander Zverev of Germany tore ligaments in his right ankle in his French Open semifinal against Nadal and underwent surgery. Zverev could possibly be out of motion for several months.

But Novak Djokovic, the world’s best grass-court player lately, will play Wimbledon, where he has won the last three men’s singles titles. He can be seeded No. 1 and begin as a powerful favorite. Nadal can be seeded No. 2, and like Djokovic a 12 months ago, is chasing a Grand Slam, which requires a player to win all 4 majors in the identical calendar 12 months.

The last man to do it was Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic got here up one match short, losing the 2021 U.S. Open final to Medvedev. Nadal, for the primary time in his long profession, has won the primary two legs of the Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open and French Open.

But he has not won Wimbledon in 12 years and has not won any grass-court title in seven years.

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