London: Rafael Nadal insisted today he was
ready and raring to go in his bid to win back the Wimbledon
crown he never got to defend.
The world number one is back at the All England Club for
his first appearance on its cherished grass courts since
winning the men`s singles title in 2008.
Nadal could not defend his trophy last year due to a
recurring knee problem, and is desperate to recreate what he
said was one of his finest achievements - victory on what he
considers to be for him the toughest of surfaces.
"Winning the Wimbledon title is one of the more emotional
moments in my career," the Mallorcan said.
"I worked hard all my life to improve my tennis in the
rest of the surfaces other than clay. In clay, too, but that
is a little bit easier for me.”
"Winning on the most difficult surface, in probably the
most important tournament of the world, was very important for
"This tournament is very special for everybody because it
is probably the nicest in the world. It is always a pleasure
be in this very beautiful club."
The second seed gets his campaign underway with a first
round match against Japanese wildcard Kei Nishikori.
Talented youngster Nishikori is ranked outside the top
200 due to an elbow injury which stalled his progress last
year, just as he was beginning to produce significant results.
He also sustained a gluteal injury and retired hurt
during his first round match at Eastbourne earlier this week
but will be ready for Wimbledon.
"He is a very good player," Nadal said of his opponent.
"He had a very important injury for the last year or last
two years. But he has amazing potential. I think he has enough
potential to be in the top 10 if he is healthy, and he`s still
improving. It is going to be a very difficult match."
Nadal said he was feeling physically "perfect" after a
relaxing break in Mallorca partying with friends, playing golf
and going to the beach.
"I am playing probably one of my best seasons since
before this tournament because the level was high in all the
tournaments for me and I was healthy," the 24-year-old said.
"I hope to be ready to play well on Tuesday."