Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will travel to London with the intention of competing at Wimbledon later this month as he continues his Grand Slam pursuit this season.
Nadal held a press conference at the Mallorca Country Club, venue for next week’s ATP 250 event, where he has been training for the past few days after undergoing radiofrequency ablation treatment on his foot.
He said: “My intention is to try to play Wimbledon if there is a chance, and the feeling this week tells me there is a chance. My intention is to travel there; if at as the days go by things don’t go as planned, we’ll see what happens.
Earlier this month, Nadal won his 14th French Open title, taking his record for the men’s Grand Slam to 22. Arriving in Paris after suffering a flare-up of Mueller-Weiss syndrome, the degenerative condition affecting his foot, at the Italian Open, Nadal revealed in his post-match press conferences that he competed with his foot under anesthesia to numb the pain with the help of his doctor.
Nadal says he battled pain in the days after the French Open as his foot awoke from nerve injections, but there have been positive developments since his surgery and he will wait to see how this will develop over the next week of preparation. .
“What was done in Barcelona, where I was twice, is not a 100% immediate thing, but changes are noticeable,” Nadal said. “I noticed them. The sensations are a bit strange, if I’m being honest. The joint pains that did not allow me to support myself have diminished.
“With this treatment, sometimes part of my foot goes numb, sometimes another [part] and sometimes I have foot cramps, but that seems normal. Apparently after a few weeks the nerf is reorganized, and hopefully when that is reorganized it will be fine.
This season, the 20th in Nadal’s career, marks the first time in his life that he has won the first two Grand Slams of the year. Nadal won the Australian Open in his first major after a lengthy foot layoff, but after starting the year 20-0 he suffered a broken rib that forced him to withdraw from the first weeks of the clay court season. Despite other problems with his foot, Nadal won the French Open earlier this month.
Nadal will take part in the Hurlingham exhibition in London next week, as he has done in previous years, ahead of the start of Wimbledon on June 27. “If all goes well, I have a week of training left in London,” Nadal said. “In case I can finish it, I hope to be competitive. Turf is a very difficult surface, and when you haven’t played for years, as I have, any course is difficult. The start of the tournament is going to be vital for me.
Nadal has not competed at Wimbledon since 2019 after being forced to withdraw from the tournament due to his left foot issues last season. After struggling at Wimbledon for half a decade, without reaching a single quarter-final between 2012 and 2017, Nadal reached consecutive semi-finals in 2018 and 2019. He won the title in 2008 and 2010.
“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’s happened so far gives me hope for to be able to be present.
Along with the news of his possible presence in London, Nadal also confirmed that he and his wife, Maria Francisca Perello, are expecting their first child. The couple, who have been together since they were young, married in 2019.
“If everything goes well, I’m going to be a father,” Nadal said. “I don’t know how it will affect me because I don’t have experience, but I don’t expect fatherhood to mean a change in my professional life.”
Ryan Peniston’s surprise and delightful week at Queen’s ended on a sunny Friday afternoon as he was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 by Filip Krajinovic in the quarter-finals of the ATP 500.
After reaching his first ATP quarter-final on his debut beating world No. 5 Casper Ruud and No. 46 Francisco Cerundolo, Peniston flew out of the gates again and he won the opening set. But in all three sets, the Serb came apart with his quality all-court game which marked him as one of the 100 best ever players.
Peniston’s run had followed back-to-back quarter-finals at Nottingham and Surbiton, a streak on grass that took him from No.197 to his new career ranking of around 146 the next week. The 26-year-old will play at Eastbourne next week and then make his Grand Slam main draw debut at Wimbledon as a wild card.
In Birmingham, Katie Boulter’s quarter-final was halted by an efficient Simona Halep who cruised through a tight first set to claim a simple win, coming through nine of the last 10 to win 6-4, 6-1. Boulter, whose run included a career-best win over world No. 35 Alison Riske in the opening round, will also travel to Eastbourne next.