(EFE) – Rafael Nadal said on Friday he was feeling confident after five days of pre-Wimbledon practice on grass at the Santa Ponça Tennis Club, where the WTA Tour’s Mallorca Open is being held this week.
After winning a record-extending 11th French Open title earlier this month, the Spaniard withdrew from the Queen’s Club Championships, a key Wimbledon tune-up played in London from June 18 to June 24.
In a press conference, the world No. 2 talked about the state of his game ahead of the year’s third Grand Slam event and what goes into having a successful run at Wimbledon, a tournament he has won twice.
“I played very well on clay, and that always helps … We have to bear in mind the Wimbledon courts, which are very special, and the draw is also important,” he said, alluding to the possibility of facing dangerous, unseeded grass-court specialists in the early rounds.
Referring to his preparations in Calvia, a municipality on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Rafa said that “all has gone well and I would like to thank the Mallorca Open organizers for allowing me to train here. I had a very intense clay-court season, and my body needed some rest.”
Rafa reiterated that the switch from clay to grass was tough on his 32-year-old body, but he also recalled that he was in excellent form last year at the All England Club despite coming off an equally long and demanding clay-court campaign.
“I’ll play two exhibition matches (before Wimbledon, which gets under way on July 2), and it’ll be a week to tighten things up before I arrive at a tournament where you never know how things might go,” Rafa said. “I have good memories from last year. I lost (in the round of 16 to big-serving Gilles Muller), but I was playing at a very high level.
Although a fourth-round loss is never an acceptable result for a player of Rafa’s stature, his performance at last year’s Wimbledon was arguably his best effort since a runner-up finish in 2011.