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Tennis News: Nadal currently on course to play Wimbledon as pursuit of calendar-year slam continues

Rafael Nadal is on course for a Wimbledon return. (Photo by Mine Kasapoglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

The calendar-year Grand Slam watch is on.

Rafael Nadal, who had already won both the Australian Open and French Open this season, announced on Friday that his chronic foot injury is in good enough shape for him to give it a go at Wimbledon. It is no guarantee, however.

“[The medical treatment] done in Barcelona is not a 100 percent immediate thing, but changes are noticeable,” Nadal said during a press conference in Mallorca. “I have noticed them, strange sensations, my joint pain has decreased. My intention is to play Wimbledon, to travel to London on Monday.

“My foot situation must be evaluated day after day, so at this moment I don’t have this certainty of being able to play. I just know that I want to play the tournament, but we must also be careful. In the first days I had complicated feelings, day after day I got better. One more week of training in London and I hope to be able to play at Wimbledon and to be competitive.”

Nadal recently captured a 14th Roland Garros while getting various injections in between matches, essentially playing with his foot “asleep.” The 36-year-old Spaniard has insisted that he is unwilling to do that again at Wimbledon, instead only playing the third major of 2022 if the current treatment plan is successful.

This is the first time Nadal has ever won in both Melbourne and Paris to put him halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam. His first Australian Open triumph came in 2009 and that was the first year he ever lost at Roland Garros (to Robin Soderling in the fourth round). He followed up his 2022 success Down Under by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev (via retirement), and Casper Ruud in his last four French Open matches. Now it’s on to Wimbledon, where the 22-time slam winner has lifted the trophy twice (2008 and 2010).

Djokovic won the first three majors of 2021 and came within one victory of the calendar-year Grand Slam but lost to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final. It would have been the first CYGS on the men’s side since 1969 (Rod Laver).

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.