Tennis

Nadal hopes knees hold out for a Wimbledon run

Nadal hopes knees hold out for a Wimbledon run

Rafael Nadal is hoping his knees hold out to give him a shot at making a deep run at Wimbledon for the first time in six years.

Nadal, who became the first player in the Open Era to win the same grand slam on 10 separate occasions with victory at the French Open on Sunday, is a two-time winner at the All England Club but has not progressed beyond the fourth round since 2011.

The Spaniard sat out last year’s event due to a wrist injury and is motivated to improve on his recent grass-court woes after an impressive 2017 so far.

However, Nadal admits that will only be possible if his troublesome knees are able to cope with the rigours of the surface.

When asked if he felt confident of replicating his French Open success at Wimbledon, Nadal said: “There has been a while since I played a very good Wimbledon. It’s true that after 2012 , with what happened with my knees [tendonitis and partially torn patella tendon], it has been tougher and tougher to compete on grass for me. That’s the reality.

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For an historic 10th time, @RafaelNadal wins the French Open pic.twitter.com/h7ARJcKnR6

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 11, 2017
“Let’s see if I’m playing well from the beginning of the [grass-court] season. I love grass, everybody knows, and it’s a surface that I really enjoyed a lot playing there.

“So I hope that my knees hold well and I can have the preparation that I really need and the preparation that I want. If that happens, why not?

“If I have pain on the knees, then I know from experience that it’s almost impossible, because I need to feel strong, low, and powerful in the legs to play well in Wimbledon.

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“If I don’t feel that, then probably my chances are not there. But if I am healthy and I am able to have the right preparation and feel healthy during Wimbledon, then I’m probably going to have my chances to play well.

“Grass is not my specialty, but I’m very motivated. I played five finals in Wimbledon, but since I have had problems with my knee, since 2012, playing on grass has been very complicated for me. We’ll see how my knee behaves.”

2008, 2010: Nadal wins French Open without losing a set, wins #Wimbledon

2017: Nadal wins French Open without losing a set… pic.twitter.com/bSaBWNzVPq

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 11, 2017
Nadal now has 15 major crowns to his name and is just three short of Roger Federer’s Open Era record of 18.

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The 31-year-old insists he won’t be setting himself any targets going forward, instead looking to take each event as it comes while he still enjoys the sport.

“I’m just going to keep on playing as long as it makes me happy. If one day I get up in the morning and I’m no longer motivated to go train, well, I guess that day I will put an end to my career,” said Nadal.

“You know what? I’m not worried about this. If this happens, I’ll accept it and I’ll move on to the next thing.

“Right now I’m very motivated. I’m happy to train. I have been doing this for years, and I’m still excited to do it. Again, provided my body allows me to do it.”

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