After a week of training in Mallorca and a couple of days of filming at the Wimbledon training facility, Rafael Nadal took another step forward in his Hurlingham exhibition debut.
The champion of 22 majors comfortably beat the Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka (6-2 and 6-3) in the first of the two tests that he will carry out this week before landing in the British
, which begins next Monday.
It was a monologue.
Without needing to press the accelerator, the 36-year-old Spaniard broke the tender resistance of his rival, a veteran whose sports rope is definitely running out.
In the absence of a more reliable and complete reading, which will not occur until he sets foot on Center Court next Tuesday and experiments with live fire, Nadal took a handful of good feelings into his pocket.
The trial was fruitful, resolved in just over an hour and without any setbacks.
At no time did Wawrinka (37 years old) mess up and, more importantly, neither did the Majorcan's left foot.
Firm in the supports and horizontal movements, also accurate in the shots, the tennis player from Manacor continues to accumulate positive signs to determine his presence in the third major of the season.
The springboard from Mallorca to Wimbledon
“I am very happy to be back after the pandemic and last year's injury [which prevented him from competing from July to December].
It is a pleasure to play here”, Nadal said in a statement collected by the Efe news agency.
It had been three years since the Spaniard –accompanied by coaches Francis Roig and Marc López, and his physio Rafael Maymó– had not played a match on the pitch.
It was in 2019, in the semi-final against the great Roger Federer.
“Being able to play a couple of matches before Wimbledon is good, it helps me ahead of the competition.
I used to do it before at Queen's [category 500], but now I'm too old for so many matches,” he joked.
The new technique to which he has undergone after conquering Roland Garros – two sessions of pulsatile radiofrequency on the nerves of the injured foot – is giving him good results and each day represents progress for him.
Nadal is facing a historic opportunity –no one has achieved the Grand Slam [winning the four
in the same year] since the Australian Rod Laver did it in 1969–, although the most immediate present prevails: first Hurlingham, then Wimbledon and, later, We will see.
Now, the feelings are positive.
The treatment responds and the tennis player gains shooting.
will debut on Tuesday
“It is the first time in his career that he is in a position to achieve it, although at the moment we see it far away.
It's a realistic goal, because he's the only one who can achieve it this season, but he doesn't lose any sleep over it.
You should go slowly.
Right now the important thing is that he spends time on the track and that his foot is fine, ”said his trainer, Carlos Moyà, in a statement to the Eurosport channel.
Last week, Nadal trained for five days on the grass of Santa Ponça, on his island.
Later, as he did in 2018 and 2019, the Mallorcan traveled to London and opted to participate in the Hurlingham exhibition, a charming club located in the Fulham neighborhood.
The coming-out against Wawrinka went off without a hitch and this Friday, the day on which the Wimbledon final draw will be drawn and his hypothetical layout will be known, he will face a new test against the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Against the Swiss, there was not the slightest discussion.
If there are no setbacks in between, Nadal will break into the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club headquarters next Tuesday (date of his debut) as a major contender for the title he already won in 2008 and 2010.
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