Nadal risks it all for Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal, pictured, will never miss Wimbledon to ease the burden on his troublesome knees, according to coach Toni Nadal

Rafael Nadal, pictured, will never miss Wimbledon to ease the burden on his troublesome knees, according to coach Toni Nadal

First published in National Sport News © by

Rafael Nadal will keep on playing at Wimbledon even if it risks shortening his career, according to the 14-time grand slam winner's coach Toni.

Nadal's uncle said the clay-court supremo, on a revenge mission against his one-time conqueror Lukas Rosol on Thursday, will not countenance avoiding Wimbledon in a bid to lessen the damage to his long-term knee problems.

Toni Nadal said on Wednesday that the two-time Wimbledon winner has shaken off a host of knee-joint concerns to approach this year's tournament in rude health.

The nine-time French Open king suffered a first-round exit last year and second-round slump in 2012.

He has encountered pain when playing on grass in the past, b ut the world number one's coach said playing and winning Wimbledon was a lifelong "dream" that Nadal will not forego at any point in his career.

"Last year he lost in the first round, and it's the same - we want to play here," said Toni Nadal at a Lavazza Coffee event.

"For us it's very important to play here, it's a dream for us.

"When Rafael was young my dream was that he could win at least once here. Every year when we come here it's a dream, and we'll try to keep coming.

"If we play bad this year we'll come back next year, so still we have a little chance to make a good tournament when we come here.

"When he's good, his knees and his body, then grass court is a good court for us, and he is good now.

"We'll always come back, the knees are not an issue in that, sometimes he has played with problems in the past, and we could do that again."

Nadal will face Rosol, knowing exactly what to expect.

The Czech knocked him out at the same stage in 2012, causing a stunning upset, and Toni Nadal admits Rosol poses a tough assignment for his nephew once again - but confirmed his 28-year-old charge from Mallorca is ready for the challenge.

"You want to play here, and it's a special tournament," said Toni.

"People said Rafael doesn't play well here, but maybe that's because people have a short memory.

"We made the final in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

"Five finals and then we have problems, with the knees."

Nadal is closing in on Roger Federer's record haul of 17 grand slam titles, but Toni said: "We don't think about four more, or the record.

"We have many fantastic victories - anything more would be amazing."

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