Rafael Nadal: 'That's for me the main issue'

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Rafael Nadal: 'That's for me the main issue'

Rafael Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, believes it is "positive" for him to play a couple of matches before Wimbledon. On Wednesday, Nadal played his first match on grass this year, defeating Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3 at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic, held at the Hurlingham Club.

After the match, Nadal suggested that the days of him playing an ATP grass-court event before Wimbledon are behind him. "Honestly, it's positive for me to play a couple of matches before the competition starts at Wimbledon," Nadal said, according to Neil McLeman.

"I used to play at Queen's a long time ago. I'm older now, I don't get to play as many games!" Nadal got off to a great start in his match against Wawrinka, breaking the Swiss early for a 3-0 lead. Nadal got his second break in game six for a 5-1 lead but failed to serve for the first set in game seven.

Just as Wawrinka managed to recover a break, he was broken again in the eighth game and Nadal sealed the first set. After winning the first set, Nadal faced three break points in a row in the first game of the second set, but saved them all to avoid an early break.

Nadal got the first break of the second set in game four to open a 3-1 lead, but was broken in game five. The loss of an early break did not affect Nadal, who took a 4-2 lead after breaking Wawrinka in game six. Nadal held serve from him the rest of the match and earned his first match point in the ninth game.

Nadal is back on grass

"I can walk normal most of the days. That's for me the main issue. When I wake up, I don't have this pain that I was having for the last year and a half. The overall feelings are positive, no, because I am in a positive way in terms of pain, and that's the main thing", Rafael Nadal said when asked of his injury.

He went on to say that the fact that he is in London and prepping for the third Major of the year is proof enough that all is well with him. "I'm enjoying playing on grass three years later. If I'm here it's because things are going well, otherwise I wouldn't be here.

I'm happy," said Nadal. The two-time Wimbledon champion spoke about the challenge of playing on grass after such a long time, highlighting the importance of 'recency.' "I don't know how I get there really, it's hard to predict.

It's probably the hardest tournament to predict. It's a tricky surface where you need to spend days on it. I haven't played anything for three years, this makes it extra tricky," Nadal said.