THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Nadal: "Lucky To Be Part Of These Rivalries"
by ATP Staff|
Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal is drawing inspiration from his rivalries with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, believing the clashes with his chief competitors has only benefited his game as he looks to win his second consecutive Grand Slam title.
“For me, I feel very lucky to be part of these two rivalries,” said Nadal. “I think it is something that brings special motivation to the game, the motivation to keep improving my tennis. If you are not able to improve your level, you are dead in this very competitive world of tennis.”
The Spaniard earlier this month defeated Djokovic in the Roland Garros final to capture a record-breaking seventh trophy on Parisian clay. Drawn in the same half as World No. 4 and British hopeful Andy Murray, Nadal isn’t looking ahead to his potential match-ups, which also include 2011 semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 10th seed Mardy Fish, Australian teenager Bernard Tomic and recent Halle titlist Tommy Haas, before a possible blockbuster final with Djokovic or Federer.
“I'm very happy the way things went the last couple of months, since the beginning of the season this year,” Nadal said. “ [But] thinking about winning another title here in Wimbledon is arrogant and crazy. That's something I cannot think about.
“I can just think about tomorrow’s practice, to keep preparing my game, to arrive to Tuesday with the right conditions, being competitive to try to win the first match. That's the goal. I try my best in every practice. Every hour on grass helps me.”
Nadal has three grass-court trophies to his name, with his latest triumph coming at The Championships in 2010. Though the lawns of the All England Club are a far contrast from the clay that plays into his style so effortlessly, the 26 year old doesn’t think a change in tactics is necessary to do well at Wimbledon.
“The important thing is to play with the surface, not play against the surface. That's the first thing,” said Nadal. “At the same time, you cannot change something crazy [with] your game, because you are good at doing what you usually do.
“In the past, my best points on grass [were when] I played very regular with my serve. I was probably not serving bombs, because I am not this kind of player. But playing very solid with high percentage, with enough speed, and then my movements and my decision to play on this surface was good the last couple years.”
With an opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking on the line, Nadal will begin his quest against Thomaz Bellucci.