Rafael Nadal should be able to ease himself into his Wimbledon campaign as he seeks a first Wimbledon title since 2010. The No.1’s recent Wimbledon’s have been full of early losses to heavy hitters or those more at home on the grass but his draw this year gives hope that he can make it through the first week before conditions turn in his favour. He plays Israel’s Dudi Sela first up.
Veteran Sela has been his countries star player for virtually all his career, hitting a career high inside the top 30 just under 10 years ago. That coincided with his best performance at Wimbledon, a fourth round – the only one he has made in his career. Sela is in the same situation as Nadal having not played a match since Roland Garros, albeit with far less confidence and a continued losing streak to go along with it.
Nadal chose not to compete at Queens after winning Paris, a decision that came as no surprise once he was lifting the trophy on Court Philippe Chatrier. “I am not 20 any more. I had to take decisions on the schedule sometimes. I decided to don’t play Queen’s because after a long clay court season, the body needed a rest, needed a slow adaptation to adapt to the grass.” he said.
Nadal realises that he has to alter things coming into Wimbledon, if only to avoid an early exit on fast courts. “It’s obvious that the movements are a little bit easier later because there is not that much grass behind. For me one of the most difficult things here is, of course, the speed of the court, the way that you have to play is different. But the movements are different, no? Later on the tournament, it’s true that the movements are a little bit easier because there is a lot of clay behind the court, so you can move a little bit more free.” he said. If Nadal makes the quarter finals, things will get very interesting indeed.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets