Rafael Nadal rocketed to his 14th French Open title on Sunday after Iga Swiatek continued his remarkable winning run to lift the women’s trophy. The 36-year-old endured a grueling tournament with grueling matches against Felix Auger-Aliassime, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev before beating Casper Ruud in the final. But Nadal will head to the treatment table next week as he seeks to recover from a chronic left foot problem in time to play at Wimbledon. Nadal, who would arrive at the All England Club still on course for a Grand Slam on the calendar for the first time in his career, said he remained hopeful he could compete.
“If it (the treatment) works, I continue. If not, it will be another story,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion.
He won two Grand Slam titles this season to clear himself in the race to finish ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the all-time list. Nadal took injections to be able to play at Roland Garros, but insists he won’t pursue it.
“If I’m able to play with anti-inflammatories, yes; play with anesthetic injections, no. I don’t want to get back into that position.”
Before returning to the treatment table, Nadal had the chance to pose with the Roland-Garros trophy, called “The Cup of the Musketeers”,whose English translation is–The Coupe des Mousquetaires, with the magnificent Eiffel Tower as a backdrop.
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“The Mousquetaires Cup rewards the winner of the men’s singles event since 1981 and pays tribute to the four Musketeers of French tennis: Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste.
“A silver basin lined with vine leaves around the perimeter and adorned with two handles in the shape of a swan, the trophy is mounted on a marble base in which are inscribed the names of the winners since 1891”, indicates the official site of Roland Garros.
It will be interesting to see if veteran duo Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal return to the grass courts at Wimbledon to challenge Novak Djokovic or not.
(With AFP inputs)
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