Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic warm up for Wimbledon with comfortable shows

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic warm up for Wimbledon with comfortable wins at the show – PA

While the Hurlingham Club hosts a group of retired “legends” of the tour this week, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic appeared to show how they continue to surpass the young tennis arms.

Djokovic, 35, began his grass season by defeating Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the hot sun at the West London Expo. It was the first visit of 20-time champion Djokovic to the Hurlingham Club and the first match after the quarter-final of the French Open, which he lost to Nadal.

He has chosen not to play on the grass up to this point. Like 36-year-old Nadal, he relaxes on the surface again, without a warm-up before Wimbledon. But the evidence shows that, as always, the Wimbledon champion remains natural. Djokovic’s 6-2, 6-1 victory over 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who struggled with his serve, was as clear as it looks.

For Nadal, the most important thing was that he did not have problems with his right foot during his easy victory over Stan Wawrinka. Given that he needed injections that numb the nerves in his leg and a range of anti-inflammatory drugs just to play painless at the French Open, it is a huge victory that he is back here.

He revealed last week that he fully intended to play at Wimbledon and showed a good mood by playing a golf tournament at the weekend – in which he finished fifth – in his hometown of Mallorca. While he used a golf cart to rest his foot as much as possible, everything was showing good signs before he returned to the court on Wednesday.

“Honestly for me it is positive to play two games before the Wimbledon competition starts,” said Nadal. “I used to play at Queen’s a long time ago now. I’m older now – I can not afford to play so many games! So it’s perfect for me to play two games here before Wimbledon starts. “It helps me feel at least one competition before Wimbledon.”

Both Nadal and Djokovic are training at Wimbledon this week, along with two-time champion Andy Murray and US Open Emma Raducanu, both of whom are returning from abdominal injuries.

Novak Djokovic cruises Felix Auger-Aliassime - GETTY IMAGES

Novak Djokovic cruises Felix Auger-Aliassime – GETTY IMAGES

But on Thursday, Wimbledon will open the Central Stadium and the No. 1 Stadium for players to practice before the tournament for the first time in its history. Usually, no more than one set is played by All England Club members on the Saturday before the start of the Championship.

However, this year the move was made to play on the field, in an effort to avoid more serious injuries caused by players slipping on the green grass in the first days of the tournament.

Last year, seven-time champion Serena Williams fell during her first-round bout and a back injury left her out of competition for 51 weeks.

Two 45-minute training sessions at the stadiums are scheduled for Thursday, and the city’s biggest names are expected to have a chance to face the surface before the rest of the draw. They will be open for training for a select few both today and on Friday, when the draw will take place.

Looking ahead to the tournament, Wawrinka said that Nadal – despite his injuries – should have been the favorite. “I do not know how he feels, he looks like a normal Rafa,” said Vavrinka. “He has said that he feels better and if he plays he is ready to play his best and win.

“I think every time Rafa enters a Grand Slam he will be one of the favorites, if not the favorite. He won the first two Slams of the year without too many games before those Grand Slams, so he gained a lot of confidence. Of course he is part of the favorites “.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.