Former Australian tennis player Nicole Pratt says "you can never discount" Rafael Nadal as she believes the Spaniard can definitely make a strong run at Wimbledon. The past year hasn't been easy for Nadal health-wise but he has still managed to find ways to win matches and titles.
At Wimbledon, Nadal will be going for his third Grand Slam of the season. Pratt, who was once the highest-ranked Australian player, now works as a coach for the Australian Billie Jean King Cup team. "You can never, ever count Nadal out.
And he's in a moment in time, that, it's phenomenal – he'd be going for his third Slam of the year, at the age that he is. He's a champion, who finds a way. That match between him and Djokovic at the French was extraordinary; toe to toe, and obviously Nadal owns Roland Garros, that is what probably got him across the line, that's a little bit different at Wimbledon," Pratt told the Australian Open.
Pratt, Wally Masur on Nadal
Masur, a former Australian Davis Cup captain, says being focused on the present is one Nadal's greatest strengths. "I thought it was a great comment from Nadal, after he won the French, and they spoke about history and being the Greatest Of All Time, and all of those stats, and he said: look, I just want to play, I just want to compete.
Watching Rafa over the years, the big thing is that he's always in the present. The only thing that matters is the next practice session, the next match. He doesn't play the tournament before it starts. He resets after every point.
I think that's a pretty good mindset, to navigate victories over so many Slams over two weeks and all the little variables you have to deal with," Masur explained. Nadal, 36, has returned to Wimbledon for the first time since 2019.
Nadal was drawn to play Francisco Cerundolo in the Wimbledon first round and it would be a major shock if he exited the tournament in his first match.