Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Nadal fears painful Wimbledon exit
The lower bounces on grass compared with clay put extra stress on his knees and Nadal has suffered some shocking defeats at the All England Club since he reached five finals there between 2006 and 2011.
His last four Wimbledon campaigns ended in losses to Lukas Rosol (world No 100), Steve Darcis (No 135), Nick Kyrgios (No 144) and Dustin Brown (No 102). Twelve months ago he pulled out of the tournament because of a wrist injury. After a few days’ rest, Nadal will travel to London to play in next week’s Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, where he has competed only once since 2011. Andy Murray and Nadal will be the top two seeds. Wimbledon starts in three weeks’ time.
Nadal’s victory in France took him up to No 2 in today’s updated world rankings list. Murray remains on top with a lead of 2,605 points but while the Scot has 2,500 points to defend during the grass-court season following his triumphs at Queen’s and Wimbledon last summer, Nadal has nothing to defend because he was injured at the time.
Wawrinka, who is also playing at Queen’s, is at No 3 in the rankings, while Novak Djokovic has dropped to No 4, his lowest position for nearly eight years. IIt’s been a while since I played a good Wimbledon,” Nadal said in the wake of his crushing 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory here over Stan Wawrinka in the final. It’s true that after 2012 what happened with my knees has made it tougher for me to compete on grass.”
He added, “I love grass. It’s a surface I really enjoy playing on. I missed playing Wimbledon again (last year), so I hope my knees will hold up well and that I can have the preparation that I really need.
“If I have pain in my knees, then I know it’s almost impossible. I need to have strong and powerful legs to play well at Wimbledon.”
“If I don’t feel that, my chances are not good. But if I am healthy and I am able to have the right preparation, then I will probably play well.”