Emmanuel LANGELLIER, Media365: published on Thursday June 23, 2022 at 3:50 p.m.
As a prelude to Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are playing an exhibition on grass in London this week. And it went well for them on Wednesday.
The third round of the Grand Slam of the tennis season kicks off on Monday in London. After the Australian Open and Roland-Garros, Wimbledon will begin on the splendid lawn of the All England Club. Always highly appreciated and awaited, the tournament will still be very popular and it has already caused a lot of talk before its kick-off. As the war continues in Ukraine following the invasion of Russia four months ago, Russians and Belarusians have been banned and no points will be distributed during this 2022 edition.
An edition on which Rafael Nadal could hit very hard. While he doubted very much to be able to play again at the high level at the end of last year, the Spaniard is in a position to be able to achieve the calendar Grand Slam at 36, a great first for him in his rich career. Faller of Daniil Medvedev, the Russian world number 1 who will therefore be absent from “Wim”, in five sets after being down two sets to nothing in the final in Melbourne, “Rafa” did it again at Roland-Garros by winning a 14th title in Paris and a 22nd Grand Slam, an improved record. While he has not stepped on the London grass since 2019, the Taurus of Manacor will be there because his left foot no longer hurts following the treatment tested after Roland-Garros and visibly approved.
Nadal corrige Wawrinka
Nadal even won his first match on grass in three years, although it was not in official competition. As expected, the world number 4 is lining up this week for an exhibition in London, where he arrived on Monday, at Hurlingham. He has to play two games there. He played the first Wednesday and it went very well as Nadal easily beat Stan Wawrinka in two short sets (6-3, 6-2).
“I don’t know how he feels, he looks like a normal Rafa. He said he feels better and if he plays he is ready to give his best and win,” Wawrinka said after his defeat while Nadal explained why he didn’t play. official tournament, in particular the hard Queen’s, which he won in 2008 before his first victory at Wimbledon (he had triumphed again in 2010). “Honestly for me, it’s positive to play a few matches before the start of the competition at Wimbledon. I was playing at Queen’s a long time ago now. I’m older now, I can’t play as many games, ”said the Spaniard who will play his second preparation match on Friday against Félix Auger-Aliassime.
Djokovic curries Auger-Aliassime
The Canadian, who took Nadal to 5 sets in the round of 16 at Roland-Garros, will try to do better than Wednesday. FAA was simply rolled in this Hurlingham exhibition by the one who will advance as a favorite at Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic. Also in full preparation like his great rival Nadal, who had eliminated him in the quarterfinals at Roland-Garros, the now world number 3 (he is preceded by Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, both absent at “Wim”) wandered on the beautiful English lawn. In just 1h10, the Serb corrected Auger-Aliassime (6-2, 6-1). For his second meeting, Djokovic should face Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud or David Goffin on Friday. A clash between “Djoko” and “Rafa”, who will be seeded No. 1 and 2 at Wimbledon, is not planned. If all goes well for them, their next confrontation could take place in the Wimbledon final…