Rafa Roundup: What can we expect from Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon?

AELTC/Florian Eisele.

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Let’s see what’s going on this year,” Nadal, still sweating profusely from his practice session, told reporters at Wimbledon.

“I know is always difficult,” said the 15-time Grand Slam winner. “I am excited to be playing again here, in a tournament that I really love. I really enjoy playing. But at the same time I tell you, is a tournament that you can go out very early.”

“It’s true that what happened with my knees in 2012 was more difficult (but) at the same time, it’s true that in 2014 I played a good event when I lost in the fourth round against Nick. But I had my chances, too. After that, last year I couldn’t play (and) 2015 was not my year, of course.”

“The clay-court season was exhausting, especially mentally,” admitted Moya, a former World No. 1. “Rafa was listening to his body and his health is his priority, even though he badly wanted to play at Queen’s. We know he’s not going to have matches under his belt, but he’ll arrive mentally and physically fresh at Wimbledon. He has made a great transition to the grass.”

“I know that my knees have hindered me a lot on grass in the past few years,” said Nadal. “They stopped me from competing at the maximum level. The switch to grass has been progressing well and the test will come later, but I am confident that my knees are going to hold up. Then the results as always depend on many factors.”

What are Nadal’s chances? On the one hand, he hasn’t made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011. On the other, he’s playing his best tennis in three years, and even in the years when he went deep at Wimbledon he had to survive several close calls in the early rounds. If he can survive one or two this year, he’ll likely be tough to beat in the second week.

So even though Nadal, along with Federer, has been the best in the world this year, it’s not fair to expect a title from him in England. Could he win the whole thing? Of course—if you’ve watched him play even a little bit this year, you know that he’s a serious threat at every tournament he enters. It shouldn’t be final or bust, though, or even semifinal or bust. Realistically, a fair expectation for Rafa is a run to the quarterfinals. Anything more would be quite an achievement. An earlier exit would certainly qualify as a disappointment.

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11 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: What can we expect from Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon?

  1. Margo

    The very best to you sweet Rafa; I know you’re going to give your signature 150%. Amaze yourself 🤗🌺👏 because you amaze me.

    RAFA ROCKS “FIRSTS” RECORDS

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  2. It is hard to predict how well Rafa will do in Wimbledon. There are so many things to consider – the weather Rafa’s knees, the strength of his opponents, slippery damp grass, schedule changes due to weather – the list goes on and on.
    As I said in an earlier post I am taking a middle of the road approach, it could go either way with Rafa but of one thing I am sure – whatever happens Rafa will have given the very best he can under the circumstances because that is the kind of champion that he is.
    If he loses early in the tournament it will not be through lack of trying. He will always be my hero.

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  3. va4favre

    I apologize if this article was already posted here, but “Inside Tennis” carried the most wonderful article on La Decima. It was written by Bill Simmons, “Rafa Nadal’s Masterpiece: A Perfect Ten.” It should be required reading for all Rafa fans!

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  4. jas_uk

    Thanks RNF for posting the Most Emotional Moment clip – I hadn’t seen it, and Rafa choosing that moment from before his first match at RG has made my day. I was in the crowd cheering as the announcer read out all the years he won it. It was really special to be there and I felt so proud of him. I’m so pleased to have contributed to your moment Rafa and may you have many, many more!

    I’d like to say I’ll be OK with whatever happens at Wimbledon, but that wouldn’t be true. I want Rafa to win because I want to see him being so happy when he does!

    I’m worried about some of the potential matches, particularly against Cilic and of course Federer, also Rafa’s knees and the English weather. But anything is possible with Rafa’s talent and tenacity. Vamos!!

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    1. va4favre

      I am so envious that you were able to see Rafa play in person. I was watching on TV, but I had tears in my eyes when I heard how Rafa was announced. I did not recall ever hearing all of his previous titles being announced. I heard it again at least once and each time I almost cried. I really do not know what to expect at Wimbledon, but I know Rafa will try his best. He may lose, but I don’t think it will be because of his nerves. If he loses, it will be that he was outplayed. it would be so wonderful if Rafa returned to number one!

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  5. glennis

    l would like to say,l have just been to see you in mallorca,when you were playing at the mallorca open,it was a life time wish to see you one day,l hope you do well in london,will be watching you vamos rafa.

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  6. Maria (England)

    I am so looking forward to seeing you play at Wimbledon next week Rafa , and I am convinced you are going to do very well indeed. The British people are just as excited having you play here again, and know how special it is to get to see you in the flesh. Whatever the outcome of the next fortnight Rafa , you could never let anyone down and if by chance you do have an early exit the only disappointment would be that we don’t get to keep you in our country as long as we would like .
    Good luck Rafa

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