Rafael Nadal is preparing for a possible return to Wimbledon for the first time since 2019. The 2022 French Open champion is nursing a chronic foot injury and is racing to be fit for the year's third Grand Slam event. Nadal underwent treatment for his long-standing foot injury after the French Open.
Francisco Roig, a member of Nadal's coaching staff, recently spoke with the media about the Spaniard's preparations for SW19. Roig stated that grass takes time getting used to and that they are still working towards acclamatizing to the surface.
"It is a bit in the dynamic that we have seen in recent years that we have come here," Roig said. "At the beginning it is difficult for us. They are totally different dynamisms (on grass), we do not come from playing any tournament on this surface. In the past we used to play some tournament on this surface, but now we come straight."
Rafael Nadal is reportedly disappointed with his current fitness state, and seemingly feels underpowered in some areas. But Francisco Roig pointed out that this was normal and that the 22-time Slam champion was working hard to increase his sharpness.
"It's not the first time nor will it be the last, I hope," Roig said. "It's normal because when you start on grass... He's been playing in Mallorca for four or five days, but one thing is to hit the ball more while standing, without expecting anything, than this. We had to be careful with our feet and here there are more goals playing, the demand is greater. It's normal that it's hard at the beginning."
Rafael Nadal is the 2nd seed at Wimbledon 2022
Rafael Nadal will be the No. 2 seed for Wimbledon, behind defending champion Novak Djokovic. This will ensure that the duo can only meet in the final.
World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev is banned from Wimbledon (along with other Russians) due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and Alexander Zverev is missing the Major due to injury. That has allowed Djokovic and Nadal to get in position to lead the two halves of the draw.
Nadal is set to play two matches at the Hurlingham exhibition this week. He will face Stan Warinka and Felix Auger-Aliassime in his two matches the event.
Francisco Roig emphasised the importance of playing these matches, which he feels are necessary to regain match sharpness.
"We are going to play two games in Hurlingham because they are going to help us," Roig said. "But 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."
What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here