Rafael Nadal said on Friday his “intention is to play at Wimbledon” for the first time in three years despite a lingering foot injury.
The 36-year-old, speaking at a press conference in Mallorca, Spain, said he would travel to London on Monday to play the grand slam he has won twice and will play in depending on how his foot feels.
“My intention is to try to play Wimbledon as I said after Paris, if there is a possibility, what it looks like,” Nadal explained. “This week I trained they said there was a chance so my intention is to travel to London on Monday, and if I’m traveling to London it’s because I intend to play. .
“If later, as the days go on, things don’t go the way I would like, well, we’ll see what happens. But my plan is to travel to London on Monday, do a week of training there, play an exhibition like I have done many times in Hurlingham and prepare as best I can.
He added: “It’s been three years since I played (Wimbledon), I’m excited, but we’ll see how (the foot) evolves. It’s a day-to-day thing. I hope things go well and that I can continue with my training week, so that I can have a chance to compete well at Wimbledon.
Nadal won his 14th French Open title earlier this month – his record 22nd overall – despite playing the final without any foot feeling.
The Spaniard has been suffering from a foot injury for years now, and it’s a persistent problem that Nadal says required daily injections at Roland Garros in order to continue playing and training.
“After the pandemic, something happened in my foot. I’m not able to handle the pain of playing often and even training,” Nadal told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who has been plagued by injury problems throughout his career.
“The only thing I can say is to take on all these challenges, I still have the passion to continue and I still have the love of the game,” he added. “I always wanted to continue. That’s probably why I’m in the position I’m in today.
Nadal hasn’t played at Wimbledon since losing to Roger Federer in the semi-finals in 2019 as the Covid-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 edition and the Spaniard pulled out of last year’s tournament in due to injury.
Despite his lingering injury worries, the world No. 4 has already won the first two Grand Slams of the season – the Australian Open and the French Open – as he bids to win an extraordinary tournament in the calendar.
This year’s Wimbledon will start on June 27 but will be without the injured Federer and Alexander Zverev.