April 11, 2018
Rafael Nadal is back to his typically combative best – in time for the clay court season and Wimbledon.
It’s the icing on the cake – or should that be the cream on the strawberries for Wimbledon 2018!
How lucky we tennis fans are! We have already seen the world’s favourite player, Roger Federer enjoy an amazing 2018 so far.
He has been taking a well-earned rest of late, but we know that Federer’s entire schedule is all about hitting his peak in time for Wimbledon.
Juan Martin del Potro, another incredibly popular tennis star, has shown he can mix it with the very best again this year – and should be a big presence at Wimbledon too.
We can look forward to the return of Andy Murray in time for the grass court season and Wimbledon. And of course he would love nothing more than to show the world that he is over his hip injury by taking Wimbledon by storm once more.
Serena Williams should also be back to her best in time for another assault on the women’s singles title at the All England Club. And the Americans have a serious contender once more in the men’s tournament too, after big-serving John Isner’s amazing Miami triumph.
Now, just when we thought we already had practically everything we could dream of in the build-up to Wimbledon 2018, Rafael Nadal comes back with a bang!
Rafa’s Davis Cup quarter-final victory over Alexander Zverev, arguably the best of the new generation, was nothing short of stunning.
To return from injury and beat such a talented rising star 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 was probably more than even Nadal himself could realistically have expected.
Defiant defence, booming forehands, that warrior spirit of old…they were all on show once more, as though the much-loved Spaniard had never been away.
Relentlessly, he inspired Spain to Davis Cup victory over Germany. Moreover, Nadal now has tennis pundits purring that he can quickly make himself favourite for the French Open, which starts at the end of next month.
So what does that mean for Wimbledon? They used to say that if you won the French, you were highly unlikely to win Wimbledon, due to the short rest time between the Slams.
But nowadays the schedule is more favourable to anyone hoping to do the summer double. Roland Garros finishes on June 10. Wimbledon doesn’t begin until July 2.
So if Nadal remains healthy, he has plenty of time to rest and then get used to the grass. He has already put his name down for Queen’s.
True, Rafa has complained in the past that Wimbledon puts extra stress on his knees, so he finds the surface increasingly tricky.
At the same time, there will be a big part of Nadal that wants to give Wimbledon at least one last serious go. And there is no time like the present!
If he comes into Wimbledon 2018 with the right mindset, there is no reason why Nadal should not be a serious contender in SW19, after what promises to be an awesome clay court season for him.
So, yes, Nadal’s return is truly the icing on the cake, or the cream or the strawberries, for Wimbledon’s lucky tennis fans.
We can feel increasingly confident in adding his name to the likes of Federer, Delpo, Zverev, Murray, Serena and all the other star attractions at Wimbledon 2018.
What more could any tennis fan ask for? Wimbledon 2018 must surely now be the one we all want to see.
We can’t wait. Have you started counting down the weeks?