Rafael Nadal announced on Friday that he intends to play Wimbledon this year despite concerns regarding his chronic foot injury. The Spaniard said that he will travel to London after positive training sessions this past week following the treatment he underwent on his foot in Barcelona.
“My intention is to play Wimbledon, but it will all depend on what happens with my body this next week,” the 36-year-old said at a press conference in Mallorca. “I’m without pain for a week and have been practising, so it tells me there may be a chance to play in the tournament.”
Following the conclusion of the French Open – where he won a record-extending 14th French Open and 22nd Grand Slam title – Nadal revealed that he was forced to use pain-killing injections to numb the pain in his left foot.
The step he took was dangerous, considering the lack of sensation in his left foot might have numbed him to an extent that it prevented him from noticing an injury that could have worsened the already weakened area. Nadal suffers from the Mueller-Weiss syndrome, a complex and rare degenerative condition in the foot, which causes blood to be cut off from the navicular bone. As a result of the condition, which Nadal has suffered since 2005, the Spaniard suffers chronic pain.
The injury has plagued him for virtually his whole career, and played a part in his semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic at last year’s French Open, following which he was forced to skip the rest of the season and even get a minor surgery.
A win at Wimbledon will not only allow him to go three ahead of his big rivals, Djokovic and Roger Federer, but it will also mean that Nadal will join Serena Williams as joint-second in the all-time Major title winners’ list. Willliams’ total of 23 is just behind Margaret Court, whose record of 24 has stood since 1973.