Rafael Nadal is “physically fine” says the Spaniard’s fitness coach Francisco Roig as he prepares for his pursuit of the 2022 Wimbledon title. The world number four has struggled with a chronic foot injury for a long time, and is undergoing regular treatment to ensure he can continue playing at a high level.
The former world number one, who was forced to end his 2021 season prematurely, has been in phenomenal form in 2022 despite his injury troubles. Nadal won the Australian Open in January, and claimed the title in Acapulco before a rib injury forced him into the sidelines.
The Spaniard returned midway through the clay court swing, but was again struck by his foot injury at the Italian Open in Rome. Nadal’s participation was in doubt ahead of Roland Garros, but with the help of painkillers, he managed to not only get through the tournament, but also claimed his 22nd Grand Slam title in dominant fashion in the final.
Immediately after the win, Nadal made it clear that he was not willing to go through pain killing injections again to play at Wimbledon. The 22-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion underwent radio therapy in order to get rid of the pain at least temporarily.
After a couple weeks of rest, Nadal returned to the training courts, and declared himself ready for Wimbledon. Roig confirmed that his player was physically fine, but admitted that it will take time to get his bearings on grass.
“Physically he is fine,” Roig said, as quoted on Planet Sport. “Last week was positive and that is why I really wanted to come here. We have to go slowly and find the mechanisms that allow you to feel good on court.”
“There are totally different dynamics (on grass). We do not come from playing any tournament on this surface,” he added. “In the past we used to play some tournaments on this surface, but now we come straight here.”
Nadal is scheduled to play two matches at the Hurlington exhibition event, which will serve as his practice matches ahead of Wimbledon. Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and Swiss ace Stan Wawrinka will be his opponents at the event.
We are going to play two games in Hurlingham because they are going to help us,” Roig said.
“We have many days ahead of us to improve, to get used to the movements, to the impacts, to recognize how the ball comes. Things like that are mechanisms that you need.”
Nadal will be seeded number two with Novak Djokovic taking the number one seed owing to Daniel Medvedev and Alexander Zverev’s absence. The former is seeking his third major of the season, while the latter will be hoping to put behind a difficult 2022 season, and defend his 2021 Wimbledon crown.