Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Rafael Nadal will not play before he bids for a third Wimbledon title at SW19 next month.
The Spaniard made history on Sunday when he became the first man to win the French Open for the 12th time by beating Dominic Thiem 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1.
His victory at Rolond Garros was the 18th Grand Slam crown of his career to leave him just two behind Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 and he will bid to reduce the deficit to one when he turns up at Wimbledon from Monday, 1 July.
It is nine years since Nadal last won at Wimbledon and he plans to take some time off before turning his attention to the grasscourt tournament.
“I know I played a great event last year. I have been able to be very close to win another title there,” Nadal said.
“As everybody knows, I love to play on grass. And as everybody knows, I am not able to play so many weeks in a row like I did 10 years ago, eight years ago.
“So I will not play before Wimbledon. The experience says that having the right preparation then, practicing well, and maybe a couple of matches, I don’t know, before there.”
Despite not planning to play any events on grass before Wimbledon, Nadal is confident he can challenge for the title.
“Honestly, the last two years that I played in Wimbledon, I felt close again,” he said.
“Last year I was one point away to the final. I felt competitive last couple of years, so why do I need to change that.
“What gives me a better chance is being healthy more than playing a lot of matches before.”
eir sport will have live coverage of Wimbledon 2019 from Monday, 1 July to Sunday, 14 July. Subscribe here
Getty Images/Julian Finney