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Rafa Ready For R&R

Halle, Germany

Nadal© Bongarts/Getty ImagesNadal will head home to Mallorca for a few days before preparing for Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal is headed home to Mallorca for a little R&R after bowing out of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle Friday. Nadal, who saw his 13-match winning streak ended by defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4, says that he will hang up his racquets for a few days before journeying to London sometime next week to begin his Wimbledon preparations.

“I cannot practise on grass but I think it’s better if I don’t practise for a few days,” he said. “I’ve played enough tennis for the last couple of months… I’m very happy with how I’ve been playing the whole season. It’s the time to rest a little bit, to be at home with family and friends, to enjoy the weather there in Mallorca, relax. And when I feel ready to come back I’ll fly to London and practise there in Wimbledon.”

After winning his seventh Roland Garros title in a rain-delayed final on Monday, Nadal flew to Halle Tuesday, played doubles on Wednesday and back-to-back singles matches on the Thursday and Friday. Despite the busy schedule, Nadal said that it is his preferred preparation for Wimbledon.

“I played this week every time for the last eight years. I didn’t play in 2009 because I had a big problem with the knee. It always worked fantastic for me. Usually, I don’t play the week before the Grand Slam. I understand that even if I lost today, the match of today, the match of yesterday, these few days of practise on grass helped me a lot. Hopefully, next year I will be back here.”

Throughout his press conference, Nadal consistently identified Kohlschreiber as the better player on the day, and made no excuses for the defeat.

“It’s not the moment to try to find excuses, to try to find why I lost today,” Nadal said. “Why I lost today is easy: He played much better than me. Playing against him here in my second match on grass only having a few hours of practice was very difficult today… And don’t forget that playing on grass best of three sometimes is a little bit more of a lottery… If you have a mistake with your serve, probably you lose the set.”

At Wimbledon Nadal will look to win his third title at the All England Club. Victory would move the Spaniard into a tie for third with Australian Roy Emerson with 12 Grand Slam crowns. Roger Federer is the all-time leader with 16, with Pete Sampras second on 14.

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Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Rafael Nadal

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