New French Open champion Rafael Nadal will play at Wimbledon later this month if his body allows.
“I’ll go to Wimbledon when my body is ready to play Wimbledon. Wimbledon is not a tournament I want to miss,” said Nadal, who is suffering from a chronic foot injury.
Nadal, a double Wimbledon champion, knocked out Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0 on Sunday to remain unbeaten in the Roland Garros final and to enter the calendar halfway through the Grand Slam after his victory over the Australian Open.
The 36-year-old now holds a men’s record of 22 grand slam singles titles – two more than his closest rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Nadal explained that he had played Sunday’s final with a numb foot thanks to a series of injections throughout the tournament, but would not go through a similar procedure again for the Grand Slam on grass.
“Wimbledon is a priority, always has been a priority. If I can play with anti-inflammatories, yes,” said Nadal.
“To play with anesthetic injections, I don’t want to put myself in that position again. It can happen one day, but no, it’s not the life philosophy I want to follow.
“Let’s see. I’m always a positive guy and always expect things to go in the right direction. Let’s have faith, let’s be positive and see what’s going on.”
In the final of the Australian Open in January, Nadal, who turned 36 on Friday, came from two sets behind Daniil Medvedev to win a second title.
A few months earlier, he even considered retiring after a foot problem that has plagued him throughout his career resurfaced, forcing him to miss much of the 2021 season, including Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open.
He arrived in Paris with his own doctor to make it through the tournament despite the injury.
He detailed what’s coming next for him, saying, “It’s going to be a radiofrequency injection on the nerve and trying to burn the nerve a little bit and create the impact that I’m having on the nerve now for a long period of time. .
“We’re going to try that. If that works, I’ll continue. If that doesn’t work, it’s a different story.
“And then I’m going to ask myself if, for example, I’m ready to do an important thing without being sure it’s going to be okay.
“A major operation that doesn’t guarantee me that I can be competitive again and it will take a long time to get back (is a risk). So let’s take it step by step, as I have done my entire tennis career.”