Rafael Nadal gives fitness update ahead of Wimbledon return

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal aims to complete a calendar slam this year (Image: Getty)

Rafael Nadal showed no signs of injury as he stepped up his Wimbledon preparations at Hurlingham Club on Wednesday.

The Spaniard was suffering from pain in his left foot stemming from a degenerative disease – Müller-Weiss Syndrome.

En route to winning the French Open earlier this month, the 36-year-old needed injections to play his matches and had hinted his participation at the All England Club could be in doubt.

However, at the Giorgio Armani Classic, an exhibition event in west London, Nadal stormed past Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3 to pass his own fitness test ahead of Wimbledon, which begins on June 27.

He said: “It’s been a while since we haven’t played on grass. Since 2019 I haven’t been able to play on grass during the difficult moments we’ve been going through with the pandemic and last year I got injured.

“I look forward to being back where we are today. It’s always been a pleasure to play here at Hurlingham. It’s something special to be back.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has dominated at Wimbledon in recent years (Image: Getty)

After winning the first two Majors of the season, Nadal is on the trail of a calendar slam.

But the 22-time Grand Slam winner has not won Wimbledon since 2010 and has not played at the All England Club for three years.

His 14th triumph at Roland Garros put him two clear of rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the race for most Slams.

At SW19, Djokovic – who also played at Hurlingham Club – will be Nadal’s biggest rival.

The Serb has won the last three men’s titles at Wimbledon but Nadal’s performance at Hurlingham Club has him rearing his head to overtake the showpiece of British tennis.

Nadal added: “It’s positive for me to play a few games before the Wimbledon competition starts.

“I played at Queen’s once a long time ago. I’m older now and I can’t play that many matches, so playing a few matches here is perfect. That helps me feel at least some competition ahead of Wimbledon.”

MORE : Rafael Nadal wants Wimbledon return after three years away

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Nate Jones

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