Rafael Nadal Intends to Return to Wimbledon for First Time in 3 Years Following Injury

·2 min read
Rafael Nadal during the Semi-Final match on centre court on day eleven of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal during the Semi-Final match on centre court on day eleven of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.

Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty

Not even two weeks removed from his 14th French Open win, Rafael Nadal has set his sights on his next tournament.

According to ESPN, Nadal announced on Friday that he intends to play at Wimbledon for the first time in three years. A win at Wimbledon would extend his record of 22 Grand Slam titles to 23.

The 36-year-old made the announcement while in Mallorca, Spain, and said he plans to travel to London on Monday after practicing on grass courts for the last week, the outlet reported.

The Spanish tennis legend is currently ranked No. 4 in the world by ATP. Nadal has not played at Wimbledon since 2019 when he lost to Roger Federer in the semifinal round.

After winning the French Open earlier this month, Nadal told reporters he would need a procedure to alleviate a condition that caused pain in his foot, according to Sky Sports.

At the time, he said he would not compete at Wimbledon if the procedure were unsuccessful.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand in his Men's Singles semifinal against Roger Federer of Switzerland during Day eleven of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England.
Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand in his Men's Singles semifinal against Roger Federer of Switzerland during Day eleven of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England.

Andy Cheung/Getty

On Friday, Nadal said the treatment "is not a 100 percent immediate thing" but said progress so far is "noticeable," according to ESPN.

"I have noticed them, strange sensations, my joint pain has decreased," Nadal said.

Nadal was recently sidelined for six weeks due to a rib fracture and has dealt with an ongoing foot injury since competing in the 2005 Madrid Open final, which forced him to end his 2021 season early.

Though Nadal said he intends to play at Wimbledon, he stated that "it is too early to give a definitive answer."

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"One more week of training in London, and I hope to be able to play at Wimbledon and to be competitive to do so," Nadal said per ESPN.

During the Friday press conference, Nadal also confirmed he and his wife, Mery "Xisca" Perelló, are expecting their first child together.

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Wimbledon will begin on June 27, with the final matches scheduled for July 10.

Nadal famously plays better on the clay courts used in the French Open among the four Grand Slam tournaments. He last won the London-based grass-court tournament in 2010 when he beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

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World No. 3 Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2021 and plans to play at the upcoming tournament. Djokovic and Roger Federer have 20 Grand Slam titles and trail Nadal for the all-time record.