CALVIA, Spain – Rafael Nadal started training Monday on the grass courts used for the WTA Mallorca Open in preparations for Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the year.
After extending his record haul of Roland Garros titles to 12 by winning the French Open earlier this month, the 33-year-old Spaniard held his first pre-Wimbledon practice session as he has done for the past three years at the Santa Ponsa Country Club, where the women’s open is held on his home island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea.
“This Monday after Roland Garros, back to practice and starting to prepare for Wimbledon at the best place possible for me,” Nadal had said on his official Twitter account. “Nothing like being at home and practicing. Thanks, Mallorca Open organizers for allowing me to practice at their tournament and best of luck,” he added.
The 18-times Grand Slam champion was overseen by his coach, Carlos Moya, and physiotherapist Rafael Maymo.
Nadal, who is currently ranked World No. 2, endured a two-hour training session in hot weather in front of dozens of fans.
Nadal and Moya rallied at a very fast pace during the first hour of training, exchanging forehand and backhand shots.
The Spanish tennis hero then spent several minutes practicing at the net and perfecting his serve before he left the Mallorca Open’s facilities accompanied by fans and members of the tournament’s security team.
Nadal’s adjustment to grass courts, something that almost all tennis players must do, most especially if like in the case of the Spaniard they are specialists in other surfaces, was followed eagerly by the fans who did not want to miss the routine.
The practice sessions are necessary so as to reach London in the best possible condition.
Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion, was a semifinalist at the 2018 tournament held at the All England Lawn Tennis club in the southwestern suburb of London.
He gave an outstanding performance in his quarterfinal match against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro and semifinal clash with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.
Apart from Wimbledon, London also hosts the Queen’s Club Championships, an annual tournament for male tennis players held on grass courts at the Queen’s Club in West Kensington to the west.
Nadal is expected to continue his preparations for the grass-court Grand Slam event, which begins on July 1.