TENNIS

Toni Nadal’s big call amid Rafa’s injury drama

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Rafael Nadal’s prospects for Wimbledon are positive, his uncle Toni Nadal has said. (Photo by Meng Dingbo/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Amid fears the French and Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal could miss Wimbledon due to chronic left foot injuryToni Nadal says he is optimistic about his nephew’s chances.

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Nadal raised eyebrows in some sections of the sports world after revealing he needed a significant number of injections of analgesics in order to continue by 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 that followed.

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

He has spent much of 2021 rehabilitating his foot, sensationally returning 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 is rife as to whether or not Nadal will play at Wimbledon, especially in light of the famous grass-court tournament which was stripped of ranking points this year due to their refusal to allow Russian or Belarusian players to enter under a neutral flag.

Toni, however, was more optimistic that his nephew had the experience and knowledge of his body and the limitations to prepare in time.

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

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

“He had to overcome a lot of difficulties and is still there although he has already won a lot and is very successful.

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

Rafael Nadal facing the race against time for Wimbledon

Nadal’s victory came two days after his 36th birthday and made him the oldest title winner in the tournament’s history on clay.

Given his age and, more concerning, the foot problem which has been an intermittent problem for years, and particularly in recent weeks, Nadal has repeatedly said that he could never be sure that every match at Court Philippe Chatrier could be his last.

“I don’t know what can happen in the future,” Nadal told the crowd, “but I will keep fighting to try and keep going.”

He later said he played the match without “feeling” his left foot after receiving a “nerve injection”.

Wimbledon will also be without Alexander Zverev, who tore several lateral ligaments in his right foot in the accident he suffered against Nadal in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros.

Zverev was leading 7-6 (10-8) 6-6 against Nadal when he rolled his ankle and cried out in pain. The 25-year-old was fighting for his maiden Grand Slam title and would have taken over as world No. 1 had he been successful.

Alexander Zverev is set to miss Wimbledon after undergoing 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 undergoing 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 will reach a career high of world No. 2, but this morning I had to have surgery,” Zverev said in an Instagram post alongside a photo of himself on a bed. of hospital.

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

“To get back to competition as quickly as possible, for all the ligaments to heal properly and to regain full stability in my ankle, surgery was the best choice. My rehabilitation starts now and I will do everything to come back stronger than ever!” “

Zverev’s brother Mischa told German newspaper Bild that Wimbledon was “out of the question” for the 25-year-old. The grass major will be held from June 27 to July 10.

With the AAP

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