June 11, 2018 / 1:03 PM / 10 days ago

Nadal unsure of Wimbledon appearance after French Open win

PARIS (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal has cast doubt on his participation at Wimbledon, saying he needs to see how his body recovers after a long clay court campaign culminated in an 11th French Open title.

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 10, 2018 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates by kissing the trophy after winning the final against Austria's Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Two of the Spaniard’s 17 Grand Slam titles came on the All England Club’s lawns, but the 32-year-old has struggled to make an impact there in recent years.

“Difficult for me to think about it now. I had a long and mentally tough clay court season, of course, because I played almost all the matches possible after coming from an injury. So it was a demanding two months for me,” Nadal told reporters after his 6-4 6-3 6-2 defeat of Dominic Thiem in Paris.

Nadal, who also won the titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome this year, is entered for the Queen’s Club warm-up tournament starting next week but says he will consult with his team, including coach Carlos Moya, over the next few days.

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 10, 2018 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning the final against Austria's Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“I would love to be playing in as many places as possible, but you understand I need to check how I feel in the next couple of days,” Nadal said.

“Of course it’s a drastic change from clay to grass. I did it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back.”

Slideshow (5 Images)

Twenty-times Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, the world number two, skipped the clay court season to concentrate on Wimbledon, where he will be going for a ninth title.

Nadal spent several months away from the tour after sustaining an injury at this year’s Australian Open and could, like Federer, decide that his long-term interests are best-served by sparing his body further punishment.

It is common knowledge that the lower-bouncing ball on grass puts extra strain on the knees that have bothered him at times throughout his career.

Yet Nadal also knows he could be a threat after playing impressively last year before falling in the last 16, losing a classic tussle against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.

“Last year I felt that I had a good opportunity to go far in the tournament. I felt myself playing well on grass last year,” the Spaniard said.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by David Goodman

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