“I am older now, I can’t manage to play so many matches”


After three long years, Rafael Nadal finally stepped out on the grass to play a full-fledged tennis match, facing off against Stan Wawrinka at the Hurlingham Classic. The Spaniard, one of several top stars competing at the exhibition tournament, scored an impressive 6-2, 6-3 win over the Swiss and looked mighty impressive for large portions of the game.

Speaking to reporters after the victory, the 22-time Grand Slam champion joked about his lack of playing time on the surface, stating that it was simply a by-product of him growing old.

Back in his early days, the former World No. 1 used to play either in the Queen’s Club Championships or the Halle Open as part of his preparations for Wimbledon. But he has not shown up in either event since 2015, coming straight to SW19 following his stint at the French Open.

Rafa said: “Honestly for me it is positive to play a couple of matches before the competition starts at Wimbledon. I used to play at Queen’s a long time ago now. I am older now – I can’t manage to play so many matches!” #GiorgioArmaniTennisClassic

The Hurlingham Classic, therefore, comes as a welcome relief for the 36-year-old, who got a chance to test his skills on grasscourt before moving on to Wimbledon next week.

“Honestly, for me, it is positive to play a couple of matches before the competition starts at Wimbledon. I used to play at Queen’s a long time ago,” Nadal said. “I am older now, I can’t manage to play so many matches!”

Rafael Nadal takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in his second and final encounter at the Hurlingham Classic

Rafael Nadal takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in his second exhibition match
Rafael Nadal takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in his second exhibition match

After the victory over Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal’s second and final clash at the Hurlingham Classic will be against Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 22-time Grand Slam champion will be back at Wimbledon on Thursday to partake in a short training session before returning to take on the Canadian on Friday.

From there on, it will be a couple of days of much-needed rest for the Mallorcan prior to Wimbledon. The World No. 4 is a two-time winner of the tournament, having won the 2008 and 2010 editions. The 36-year-old is the second seed at Wimbledon this year and is primed to face off against top seed Novak Djokovic in the final.

Ganó Nadal 6-2 y 6-3.Muy buen nivel del balear, que solo tuvo un par de desconexiones al servicio.Mañana toca entrenar de nuevo en Wimbledon y el viernes otro partido contra Felix Auger-Aliassime. https://t.co/cgKRrRef6y

While the Serb is still seen as the favorite by most fans and pundits, the former World No. 1 isn’t without his share of supporters. Former ATP players David Ferrer and Prakash Amritraj have both claimed in recent interviews that the Spaniard is very much capable of mounting a surprise title run at SW19 this year, a run that will move him one step closer to the elusive Calendar Grand Slam.

“[Rafael Nadal] is one of the guys who has a tremendous amount of experience. 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?” Amritraj said.

“Rafa is one of the favourites at Wimbledon, comes with a lot of confidence and is difficult to beat. If Rafa is good mentally and plays confidently, he is a favorite,” Ferrer said.






Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.