Toni Nadal's massive Wimbledon call amid Rafa injury concerns

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Rafael Nadal's outlook for Wimbledon is positive, his uncle Toni Nadal says. (Photo by Meng Dingbo/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal's outlook for Wimbledon is positive, his uncle Toni Nadal says. (Photo by Meng Dingbo/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Amid fears that French and Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal could miss Wimbledon due to his chronic left foot injury, Toni Nadal says he is optimistic about his nephew's chances.

Nadal raised eyebrows in some sections of the sporting world after revealing he had required a significant number of painkilling injections in order to continue through Roland Garros.

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The 36-year-old triumphed over Norway's Casper Ruud to claim his 22nd grand slam victory last weekend, but was spotted on crutches in the days afterwards.

Speaking after winning the French Open, Nadal said he was surprised that he had enough in the tank to win, having been dealing not only with the foot complaint but also a fractured rib.

He spent much of 2021 rehabilitating his foot, returning in sensational fashion earlier this year to win the Australian Open, becoming the first male player to win more than 20 grand slams.

With Wimbledon just weeks away speculation has been rife about whether or not Nadal will play at Wimbledon, particularly in light of the famous grasscourt tournament being stripped of ranking points this year over their refusal to allow Russian or Belarussian players to enter under a neutral flag.

Toni though, was mor optimistic that his nephew had the experience and knowledge of his body and limits to be prepared in time.

“Wimbledon starts in less than two weeks, so let’s see if my nephew is there or not. I think that he will be and that the treatment goes well,” Toni told Eurosport Spain.

“He wants to take advantage of the good sporting moment that he is going through and that has led him to be the winner of the two Grand Slams.

“He has had to overcome many difficulties and is still there despite having already won many things and being very successful.

“Since 2005, he has been playing with a lot of pain to the point of sometimes being unable to finish a training session.”

Rafael Nadal facing race against time for Wimbledon

Nadal's victory came two days after his 36th birthday and made him the oldest title winner in the history of the clay-court tournament.

Given his age, and, of more concern, the foot that has been an off-and-on problem for years, and particularly in recent weeks, Nadal has said repeatedly that he could can never be sure whether each match at Court Philippe Chatrier might be his last.

"I don't know what can happen in the future," Nadal told the crowd, "but I'm going to keep fighting to try to keep going."

Later, he said he played the match with "no feeling in" his left foot after getting an "injection on the nerve."

Wimbledon will also be without Alexander Zverev, who tore several lateral ligaments on his right foot during the accident he suffered when facing Nadal in the French Open semi-final.

Zverev was trailing 7-6 (10-8) 6-6 against Nadal when he rolled his ankle and he screamed out in agony. The 25-year-old was fighting for his first Grand Slam title and would have taken over as world No.1 had he succeeded.

Alexander Zverev is set to miss Wimbledon after having surgery to repair the ligaments he tore in his foot against Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-final. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Alexander Zverev is set to miss Wimbledon after having surgery to repair the ligaments he tore in his foot against Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-final. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

"Next week I'll reach a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world, but this morning I had to undergo surgery," Zverev said in a post on Instagram along with a photo of him on a hospital bed.

"After further examination in Germany, we received confirmation that all three of the lateral ligaments in my right ankle were torn.

"To return to competition as quickly as possible, to ensure all the ligaments heal properly, and to reclaim full stability in my ankle, surgery was the best choice. My rehab starts now and I'll do everything to come back stronger than ever!"

Zverev's brother Mischa told German newspaper Bild that Wimbledon is "out of the question" for the 25-year-old. The grasscourt major is to be held from June 27 to July 10.

With AAP

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