Wimbledon | Conscious that quarterfinal will be a difficult match, I have to play at high level: Rafael Nadal
Spain’s Rafael Nadal defeated Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6) and will meet American Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinal.
Rafael Nadal celebrates after storming into quarterfinals at Wimbledon. (Courtesy: AP)
- Rafael Nadal won Round of 16 match in straight sets
- Nadal will take on Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinal
- Nadal has won Wimbledon only twice – 2008 and 2010
Rafael Nadal has become just the third man in the Open Era aged 36 or older to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. The Spaniard, who is aiming for a rare calender-year Grand Slam, is conscious that the last-16 match will be “difficult” and he would have to play at a “high level” to reach the last four.
Nadal defeated Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6) and will meet American Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinal.
“I am very conscious that it will be a difficult match where I have to play at a high level to have options (to win),” Nadal said after the match.
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“But I am also a realist. We are in the quarter-finals and you can’t expect to play in the quarter-finals against an easy rival in a tournament like Wimbledon.
“I have to accept the rest and in the end I have to play at a very good level to go to the next (round) and if I don’t then I’ll be going home with no problems and waiting for the next one to come.”
The journey to reach the quarterfinal stage has not been an easy one for Nadal, whose career has been plagued by a chronic foot injury. The 22-time Grand Slam champion had to numb his foot in Paris to clinch his 14th French Open title earlier this year.
“Takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play this tournament after the things that I went through the last couple of months.
Nadal, who has won Wimbledon only twice – 2008 and 2010, returned to the Championships after three years as the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Spaniard was absent from the 2021 edition.
“But as everybody knows, Wimbledon is a tournament that I like so much. (I) have been three years without playing here. I really wanted to be back. That’s what I am doing. So that’s why it means a lot for me to be in that quarter-finals.”