Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal said on Friday he intended to play at Wimbledon, but his final decision rests on how his awkward left foot feels after training in London next week. “My intention is to play at Wimbledon,” Nadal told a press conference in Mallorca. “The treatment and the last week of training tell me there is a chance. I’m going to travel to London on Monday, play an exhibition at Hurlingham and do a week of training to see if it’s possible.”
Nadal said the injections meant his left foot went “asleep” in the French Open final on June 5 – he still beat Casper Ruud to win a record 22nd Grand Slam title.
Nadal, who has confirmed he is going to be a father for the first time, traveled to Barcelona last week to begin ‘pulsed radiofrequency stimulation’, a treatment aimed at reducing nerve pain.
Nadal’s spokesperson said the treatment would leave the nerves in his foot “temporarily numb”.
The 36-year-old then had his first grass session on Monday at the Mallorca Country Club in Santa Ponca and has steadily increased his training intensity this week.
“I noticed a difference, a bit strange feelings to be honest,” Nadal said.
“With nerve treatment, things happen in your foot, sometimes one part of the foot goes numb, sometimes another.
“It’s normal apparently and after a few weeks the nerves reorganize.
“I’m happy. I felt a bit of pain, but it’s different from what I had before, which for me is progress.”
Nadal has won Wimbledon twice in his career, in 2008 and 2010.
He missed last year’s tournament with pain in the same left foot while the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, meaning Nadal will be hoping to make his first appearance at the All England Club in three years. .
“I will travel to London, play two matches there before the tournament and follow my normal schedule to prepare for Wimbledon,” Nadal said.
“Who knows what can happen in a few days – if the situation changes or something more negative (happens), there will be a moment to explain.
“But I’m delighted to travel to Wimbledon and play for the first time in three years.”
He said his plan was to “play Wimbledon, rest, then Canada and then the US Open.”
Nadal’s career results have been relatively less consistent at Wimbledon, and he admits his lack of practice on the grass could leave him vulnerable in the early rounds of this year.
“Playing well at Roland Garros helps confidence levels, but grass is a different surface and there’s no logic in these things,” said the world number four.
“I haven’t played on grass for three years and it will be difficult. The first rounds will be crucial – if you go through them the opponents are more difficult, but you also play with more pace.
“The first matches you play, against people with recent experience on these courts, are a bit of a lottery.”
He then turned to personal matters, saying: “If it’s all right, I’m going to be a father.
“I’m not used to talking about my personal life, I prefer to keep a low profile for peace of mind. I don’t expect this to mean a change in my professional life,” Nadal said.
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