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Confirmed: Nadal plans to play Wimbledon… and the US Open
The news everyone has been waiting for
Rafael Nadal plans to continue his quest for an unlikely calendar Grand Slam at Wimbledon – and intends to be at the US Open as well.
The 22-time major champion confirmed the news at a press conference in Mallorca on Friday – adding that he will be travelling to London early next week.
“The week practising here after my treatment has been positive,” he said (in Spanish, translated live by Tennis Majors). “Different feeling on my foot, honestly. My intention is to travel to London on Monday, play two matches, follow my normal schedule to prepare Wimbledon. Today it’s all I can say. I’m positive, happy with the feelings.”
Nadal – I’ll be in North America after grass season
And all being well, he intends to play the Rogers Cup in Canada before moving on to Flushing Meadows.
“I’m a pro tennis player, so I’m following the pro tennis calendar tour and, at least for me, the Grand Slams are the landmarks. The stage after Wimbledon will be the US Open so I’ll do my best to arrive well prepared there. If you look at my recent track records there, there were issues with my physical state that didn’t let me operate like I wanted to.
“My logic is to play first the Masters 1000 in Canada, and then take stock. Generally I do well here and I don’t like to change what works well. You know that things are not predictable for me. I’m ready to accept things as they will come and take the best decisions possible.”
Nadal missed the 2020 and 2021 US Open, having won two of the previous three editions. Indeed, his ongoing chronic foot condition caused him to end his 2021 season in August.
Nadal suffered after Roland-Garros
The Spaniard had been honest after his Roland-Garros victory that he was suffering severe pain in his foot. After his win, he went to Barcelona for a session of radiofrequency treatment on the problem, and was seen on crutches shortly afterwards.
“What was done in Barcelona (medical treatment of the foot) is not going to work 100 percent immediately,” he reflected. “But there are noticeable changes, I have noticed them, my joint pain has decreased. It’s not a mathematical thing, it doesn’t exist in medicine. But from my understanding, from what I feel, the progress is now satisfactory. There are strange sensations. Sometimes one part of my foot falls asleep and then another, sometimes I have cramps on the sole of my foot, but it seems that this is normal and that the nerve ‘reorganises’ itself after a few weeks.
“I’m happy, I haven’t limped for a week. It’s allowed me to train for five days and that’s a breakthrough for me. And it allows me to travel to London, where I haven’t played for three years and I’m excited. I hope everything goes well.”
The grass isn’t hurting my foot – Nadal
Indeed, it was the sight of Nadal practising on a grass court that gave fans hope that he would be fit in time for SW19.
“After Roland-Garros it was tougher than usual, busy days in terms of travelling to do the recovery – I went through some pain,” he admitted. “The next day [after winning the title] I was with you guys [journalists] in Paris [for the champion’s photo-shoot]. [That was] hard in terms of pain – worse on Tuesday. If I want to play Wimbledon, I have no time to lose – here I am with positive news.”
And switching to grass-court practice hasn’t caused him an issue.
“I don’t think the grass hurt my foot more than any other surface,” he said. “From my point of view, it’s obvious that’s grass is softer than other hard surfaces. The week here has been positive. The feeling was different on my foot, honestly, that was positive from my point of view.
“What can happen in the coming days? I don’t know. If the situation becomes more negative, that will be the moment to explain the whole thing.”