Down to No. 10 in the rankings, Rafael Nadal sounds like a man who transitioning from a Grand Slam threat to someone just happy to be playing tennis injury-free. Gone are knee issues, the appendicitis and the wrist problems he was hit with a year ago.
Speaking yesterday in front of the assembled media, the former Wimbledon champion talked about his outlook.
“I feel good. I won a tournament on grass after five years, a good moment for me and a special one,” Nadal said referring to his Stuttgart win earlier this month.
“Let’s see if I am able to compete well then at Wimbledon. I’m so happy to be here, you know. Healthy, that’s the most important thing. Last year I was better, after 2012 and ’13, that I couldn’t play well here. Too many problems with my knees.
“It’s good, losing or winning, doesn’t matter, but it is good to be healthy on the second most important surface in my career, without any doubt.”
Nadal’s struggles have been well-chronicled this season and he’s had issues on the grass, losing in the fourth round last year to Nick Kyrgios and to Steve Darcis in the first round before that.
“On grass, the feeling is you have to be very focused all the games, every point,” Nadal said. “You cannot have two mistakes in a row, or three mistakes in a row with your serve because almost you lose a set.
“So it’s a big difference and a good chance to go to the net more. It’s a good chance to do different things that you are not doing very often on the tour. I’ll try to have fun with that.”
Nadal will play on Tuesday against Thomaz Bellucci.
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