Rafael Nadal had a dream start to the season where he won three consecutive titles including the Australian Open. He then suffered a hairline rib fracture and had issues with his foot during the clay-court season. Despite all odds, he brought his ‘A’ game at Roland Garros and won a record 14th Roland Garros title and a 22nd grand slam title.
Nadal wasn’t sure of competing at Wimbledon after his French Open triumph due to his ailing foot. He then treated his foot for a week and then as results came out better, he decided to give Wimbledon a shot. He is seeded No.2 at the tournament and has been handed a mixed draw. When compared with the French Open draw he got a couple of weeks ago, Nadal would be relieved with the Wimbledon draw.
But having said that, the draw isn’t as easy as it may sound. Nadal will face Francisco Cerundolo in the opening round and could face former Wimbledon semifinalist and big server, Sam Querrey in the second round. He will then face Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the third round before eventually locking horns with former Wimbledon finalist and in form, Marin Cilic in the fourth round.
The 22-time grand slam champion is then expected to meet 6th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals. Felix defeated Nadal in an exhibition match this week on the grass courts so things won’t be easy for Rafa. In the semifinal, he is then expected to meet defending finalist Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals. The Italian is undefeated on grass this year and has won 2 tournaments. Finally, we would face top seed Novak Djokovic in the title showdown.
Paul McNamee on Rafael Nadal’s draw
Former Australian doubles player Paul McNamee, who was also a World No.1, pointed out that Nadal has got a very tough draw. He said that Nadal draws a former semi-finalist potentially in the 2nd round and everybody who is in form on grass are in the bottom half with him except Hubert Hurkacz and Novak Djokovic.
“Gee that’s a tough road for Nadal… a former semi-finalist potentially 2nd round, and the in-form grass courters pretty much all in his half, with the exception of Hurkacz and the only player who cannot be in his half… Djokovic,” he wrote.