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Will French Open kingpin Rafael Nadal regret sitting out until Wimbledon?

Leigh Copson 10 Jun 2019
Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning the French Open for a 12th time (credit:Zabulon Laurent/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images)

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will not play again before Wimbledon – could that be a decision that backfires on the Spanish star?


Nadal continued his incredible dominance of the French Open this past weekend as he powered past Dominic Thiem in four sets to win the clay court Grand Slam for a record-setting 12th time, and he will now aim to follow that up with a third Wimbledon title next month.

However, the 33-year-old Spaniard is not planning on racking up any more miles or matches between now and the start of the prestigious Grand Slam, which gets underway on June 1.

Nadal believes the best preparation he can have right now is to rest up before he heads to SW19 and bids to win the season’s only grass court Grand Slam for the first time since 2010.

“I know I played a great [Wimbledon] event last year and I have been able to be very close to win another title there,” Nadal told reporters.

“As everybody knows I love to play on grass, and as everybody knows I am not able to play so many weeks in a row like I did eight or 10 years ago, so I have to do my schedule.

“The last two years that I played in Wimbledon, I felt close again. Even though I lost to Gilles Muller in 2017, I played great tennis there too. I was very close to being in the quarter-finals, and last year I was one point away from the final.

“So I will not play before Wimbledon, of course. I felt competitive the last couple of years, so why do I need to change that? What gives me a better chance is being healthy more than playing a lot of matches before.”

Nadal’s announcement has not had much of an impact on the outright betting for Wimbledon, with bookmaker bet365 still considering him a leading contender for the men’s singles title at 11/2.

There are two men ahead of him in the outright betting at this time and it will come as no surprise that those two men are Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Defending champion Djokovic, a four-time winner and five-time finalist, is the 6/4 favourite as he looks to add the Wimbledon title to the Australian Open crown he claimed earlier this year, while Federer is considered his biggest rival at 10/3 as the Swiss legend goes on the hunt for a record-setting ninth Wimbledon Final win.

Alexander Zverev is 11/1 to become the first player not named Djokovic, Federer, Nadal or Murray to win Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt was victorious in 2002, and he is joined on that price by Marin Cilic and two-time champion Andy Murray.

At 16/1, Juan Martin del Potro and Milos Raonic are the only other players priced shorter than 20s.


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Will French Open kingpin Rafael Nadal regret sitting out until Wimbledon?

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will not play again before Wimbledon – could that be a decision that backfires on the Spanish star?

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