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"Rafael Nadal has won Wimbledon twice - why not a third? He has done everything else impossible in this sport" - Prakash Amritraj

Prakash Amritraj believes Rafael Nadal could win his third Wimbledon title this year
Prakash Amritraj believes Rafael Nadal could win his third Wimbledon title this year

One of the most pertinent questions the past two weeks has been, 'Will Rafael Nadal play at Wimbledon?'. Last Friday in Mallorca, the Spanish star expressed his desire to participate in the third Major event of the year, and on Monday, he arrived in London. The World No. 4 even practiced with Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov.

After lifting his 14th French Open title earlier this month, Nadal made public that he used anesthetic injections and anti-inflammatories to counter his recurring foot injury. The Spaniard immediately started with treatment upon returning home. A couple of days after the Roland Garros final, he was spotted using crutches, which raised concerns about his presence at SW19 this year.

However, Rafael Nadal has stuck to his plans and recovered just in time for the grasscourt Major, which kicks off on June 27. Speaking to the Tennis Channel recently, former American tennis player Prakash Amritraj heaped praise on the 36-year-old and asked fans to enjoy watching him while he was still around.

"This footage (Nadal practicing) of Rafa, it's just something that puts a smile on everyone's face. The guy is such an inspiration. He is still playing unbelievable tennis, 14th French Open, going for a Calendar Slam this year at this age is absolutely mind-boggling. We don't know how many opportunities we're going to get to watch him on the court. So now, I think every single time he steps on the court, it's a true event. It's very special that we're going to see him at Wimbledon," Amritraj said.
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Amritraj believes that although the 22-time Grand Slam champion is not the clear favorite, he could spring a surprise since he has vast experience.

"Hopefully the grass is a little bit softer on his foot, maybe the points are a little bit shorter. He is one of the guys who has a tremendous amount of experience which not a lot of other people have. He's a very underrated volleyer, he can serve and volley quite well, uses that backhand slice well. So perhaps someone not everyone's thinking of as a favorite for Wimbledon, but who knows? He's won the thing twice. Why not a third? He has done everything else impossible in this sport," said Amritraj.

Rafael Nadal eyeing the Calendar Slam

Rafael Nadal has won the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year
Rafael Nadal has won the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year

Second seed Rafael Nadal won the Wimbledon Championships in 2008 and 2010. With a win-loss record of 53-12 in London, the Spaniard will aim to win the third Major of the year and continue his hunt for a Calendar Slam. This is the first time in Nadal's long and celebrated career that he has won the Australian and French Open in the same year.

At the start of 2022, all the Big 3 members were tied at 20 Majors each. Nadal recorded his best start to a season as he won his first 20 matches, including the Australian Open. He reached Paris without an ATP claycourt title for the first time since 2004 but still emerged victorious, extending his Grand Slam title lead over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer by two.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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