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Wimbledon 2022: Rafael Nadal pain-free for first time in 'year and half'

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London | June 26, 2022 8:57:45 PM IST
Ahead of Wimbledon 2022, Rafael Nadal has said for the first time in 18 months he has overcome the crippling foot pain.

Second seed Rafael Nadal will play Argentina's world number 42 Francisco Cerundolo in the first round while young sensation Carlos Alcaraz will take on Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff.

"I can walk normal most of the days, almost every single day. That's for me the main issue," said the 36-year-old Spaniard at Wimbledon on Saturday in the pre-tournament press conference.

"When I wake up, I don't have this pain that I was having for the last year and a half, so quite happy about that. And second thing, practising. Since the last two weeks, I didn't have one day of these terrible days that I can't move at all. The feeling and overall feelings are positive," he added.

For the first time in his career, Nadal arrives in SW19 halfway to the calendar Grand Slam, a feat no man has achieved since Rod Laver in 1969.

It is quite the start to a season already blighted by a rib fracture and recurrent left foot problems.

"[The] past is past. Sport and life goes so quick, no? I am not a big fan of keep[ing] living on the things that you achieved because sport doesn't give you that time to keep thinking on the things that happened," Nadal said.

"But [it] is something that already happened. [It] is something that's going to be in my museum for the rest of my life, so that's something that makes me feel proud, of course. [The] last six months of 2021 haven't been easy. Even 2022, [though] I am able to have an amazing start of the season, haven't been easy at all."

The Spaniard has reached the semi-finals the last two times he has taken part in The Championships, but it is now 12 years since he lifted the trophy as gentlemen's singles champion for a second time.

In the Roger Federer's absence from Wimbledon for the first time in 24 years, Nadal afforded himself time to reflect on their rivalry without dwelling for too long on the past.

"[To] have somebody like him, like a rival, that he's amazingly good, helps you to let you know the things that you have to do to be better," he said. "In some way it's easier to have a way to improve when you have an example in front that is better than you, not always but a lot of times," the 22-time Grand Slam champion added.

Wimbledon 2022 will be held from June 27 to July 10. The grass-court Grand Slam tournament, established in 1877, will take place at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in London, UK. (ANI)

 
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