No matter how thunderous the present is for Rafael Nadal, for the Spaniard each week and each tournament is a new challenge that he enjoys 100% and competes in the same way beyond praise and numbers. And that doesn’t change even when, for the first time in his career, Nadal reaches SW19 midway through a calendar Grand Slam, a feat no male player has accomplished since Rod Laver in 1969.
“The past is the past. Sport and life go by so fast, don’t they? I’m not a big fan of continuing to live off the things you’ve achieved because sport doesn’t give you that time to keep thinking about the things that happened,” he said.
Nadal after his first training sessions at Wimbledon. The Spaniard has reached the semi-finals the last two times he has participated in The Championships, but it is now 12 years since he lifted the trophy as men’s singles champion for the second time.
Still, it had been even longer since he had gotten his hands on the trophy at Melbourne Park: in January he broke a 13-year spell to stop Daniil Medvedev and take sole possession of the biggest Grand Slam tally of all time in men.
, which after Roland Garros already adds twenty-two. After winning the title in Paris against Casper Ruud earlier this month, Nadal took a well-deserved break aboard his catamaran against Mallorca. Resting and testing his troublesome left foot in exhibition matches at the Hurlingham Club and in practice sessions, including on Center Court with last year’s finalist Matteo Berrettini, Nadal can already look to the future, to play Wimbledon for the No.
15. The future is to compete in The Championships for the first time in three years when he opens his tournament against Argentine Francisco Cerúndolo this Tuesday in the second turn of the Central Court, the stadium that celebrates his centenary this season.
Roig pays tribute to Nadal
Francisco Roig is confident that Rafael Nadal will do everything in his power to find the energy needed to give himself the best shot to win the Wimbledon title. “Having the energy to do what he has done is very difficult.
He needs that energy. After Roland Garros, which was a tough, tough, tough tournament, he had a few days off to reconnect mentally with another Grand Slam he, we can’t fool ourselves, he’s coming to win,” Roig said.
“Then maybe he does a few semis and has played well, and he’s happy with himself, but he is who he is and he always tries to win,” he added. “He hasn’t played here for three years and the memory and the feeling that you have from one year to the next is fundamental, because you retain something.
It always costs you a bit, but if you’ve played the previous year and the others, that helps in adaptation,” Roig explained.