Rafael Nadal set to play at Wimbledon for first time in three years

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Nadal will travel to London on Monday (AFP via Getty Images)
Nadal will travel to London on Monday (AFP via Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal is set to play at Wimbledon for the first time in three years.

The reigning Australian Open and French Open champion is battling a persistent foot injury that has plagued him for some time.

Fresh from beating Casper Ruud to take a 14th Roland Garros title earlier this month the Spaniard said he would trade the trophy for a new foot.

But Nadal revealed on Friday that the pain has eased and he will travel to London on Monday to start his preparation for SW19 which will include a match at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic at Hurlingham.

"My intention is to play Wimbledon," he told a press conference in Mallorca. "I have trained well this week and my departure on Monday for London is to that effect.

"But my foot situation must be evaluated day after day, so at this moment I don't have this certainty of being able to play. I just know that I want to play the tournament, but we must also be careful.'

He added: "Now it's too early to give a definitive answer.

"In the first days I had complicated feelings, day after day I got better. One more week of training in London and I hope to be able to play at Wimbledon and to be competitive to do so."

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.”

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

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