- Wimbledon: ‘Worst surface’ – lower-ranked players see grass as chance to beat goat Rafael Nadal, says Mats Wilander | Eurosport
Nadal said that the break in play in the fourth set benefitted him, but Wilander praised Nadal’s ability to get the job done on his worst surface, grass. The seven-time Grand Slam winner Wilander added that lower-ranked players see grass as a great equaliser against Nadal.
“He’s 36 years old; he has that tape on his abdominal muscle; he has the foot issue,” Wilander began.
“I think it’s good… to take a break [for the rain delay, but] to be able to come out and play this well and to win matches on probably his worst surface in many ways, even though he has won more Wimbledons than Australian Opens.Grass courts are a great equaliser for a lot of the lower-ranked players. I think they believe that they might have a small chance to beat even the greatest of all time.”
Nadal has been the subject of admiration from all corners of the tennis world, with many WTA players commending his legendary fighting spirit and his strong start to the 2022 season. World No. 1 Swiatek was on hand to see the Spaniard win the Australian Open final in January, and Nadal revealed he has been watching the Polish star throughout her 37-match win streak as well.
“I texted her a couple of times because it’s unbelievable the way that she’s playing,” Nadal said. “It’s unbelievable the way that she’s able to hold the concentration and the winning spirit for such a long time. I think it’s something very difficult to make that happen.”
“I always get intimidated by him just ’cause he’s Rafa. I remember at French Open, he, like, patted me on the back and said, ‘Good job.’ I remember responding so late, he was already down the hallway, and I said, ‘Thank you,’ because I was so shocked he actually said that to me!
“He’s one of those players on tour that you get star-strucked every time. Same with Nole, Roger. Even Serena and Venus to this day, I still get starstruck.
“Hearing that from him is pretty cool and I hope I can live up to that.”
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