Rafael Nadal says he intends to compete at Wimbledon later this month when he’ll attempt to win a record-extending 23rd grand slam title.
And the great Spanish champion also revealed at a news conference on Friday that he is to become a father for the first time.
After winning both the Australian and French Opens this year, Nadal, who turned 36 earlier this month, said the pain in his injured foot has eased and he will travel to London on Monday to start his preparation for the tournament.
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“I’m happy, I haven’t been limping for a week,” Nadal, who won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, said in Mallorca.
“I have noticed changes with the treatment, still have strange sensations, sometimes I can’t feel my foot, but the pain that did not allow me to support my weight on my foot has subsided.”
Nadal explained he intends to travel to London on Monday and will assess how he is feeling after a week of training and exhibition matches.
“My intention is to play Wimbledon, but it will all depend on what happens with my body this next week,” Nadal said.
“I’m without pain for a week and have been practising, so it tells me there may be a chance to play in the tournament.”
Nadal said last month in Paris that he had played Roland Garros with pain-killing injections prior to each match, but does not want to repeat that at other tournaments.
The issue, which forced him to take five months off in 2021, returned in Rome prior to the French Open, after he came back in May from a six-week injury break.
Nadal has not played Wimbledon since 2019 when he reached the semi-finals. The tournament was not held the following year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he missed the 2021 edition due to injury.
He last reached the Wimbledon final 11 years ago, when he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic.
“I haven’t played on grass for three years and I have to adapt, every day I have been recovering sensations and feeling better. I have a week left before playing and I have to test myself little by little,” Nadal said.
“Advancing in the first rounds is crucial. If you advance, you pick up the pace to reach the end. You have to survive no matter what.”
Nadal also confirmed that his wife Mery Perello is pregnant with their first child.
“If everything goes well, I’m going to be a father. I’m not used to talking about my private life. We live more peacefully with a lower profile. I don’t expect that my life will change much with it,” he said.
“At the moment all has worked well for me and I am not a friend of changing what works well. My intention is to play Wimbledon, rest, then Canada and then be ready for the US Open.”