French Open final 2014: Rafael Nadal hopeful of better showing at Wimbledon after landing ninth title at Roland Garros
Nadal came back from a set down to defeat Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final and he believes he can head to Wimbledon with confidence in his long-term knee problem
Monday 09 June 2014
Rafael Nadal believes he has more chance of performing well at Wimbledon this year after finishing the clay stretch in customary style with a ninth French Open crown.
The Spaniard extended his remarkable record to 66 wins and only one defeat at Roland Garros with a 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 victory over Novak Djokovic to tie Pete Sampras on 14 grand slam titles.
Nadal won two titles and made three more finals at Wimbledon between 2006 and 2011 but on his last two visits he has won just one match.
In 2012 he was stunned in the second round by Lukas Rosol while last year he failed to win a set against Steve Darcis in his first match.
With only two weeks between tournaments, adjusting to a surface that troubles his knee and recovering from his efforts in Paris is very tough for Nadal.
Read more: Five in a row for king Nadal
Murray breaks new ground again as he takes on female coach
Sharapova celebrates title with Eiffel Tower photo shoot
Last year he missed the warm-up tournament in Halle but will head to Germany on Monday and is hopeful the transition will at least be better this time around.
He said: "I want to try to play well again at Wimbledon.
"I'm healthy. That's the most important thing. I hope my knee will have the positive feeling on grass, because I feel my knee better than last year on the rest of the surfaces.
"Grass always was a little bit harder for me after the injury. Last year I tried, but I was not ready enough to compete at Wimbledon. Let's see how my feeling is there this year, but it's a very important tournament.
"It's a tournament I really love so much, so after the match of today and after how tired I am, after a little bit the back problem that I had during the whole tournament, I'm not in the strongest position to go to Halle.
"But I missed it last year. I don't want to miss it two years in a row. At the same time, it's the right way to prepare for Wimbledon. So I really want to do it and try my best there.
"I know probably the result will not be the perfect one there, because the days of preparation are not the right ones."
Djokovic had hoped to become only the eighth man to win all four grand slam titles but leaves Paris licking his wounds once again having lost to Nadal for the third straight year.
It was also a fifth defeat in his last six grand slam finals for the Serbian, who hired Boris Becker as his head coach to try to give him an extra edge in the biggest matches.
Djokovic said: "The crucial points he played better. I wasn't playing at the level that I wanted, especially in the second part of the match.
"Congratulations to him. Of course it's disappointing for me, but life goes on. It's not the first time or last time that I lost a match."
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Pavement The Forum, London
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners fans plan protest at the Emirates Stadium because of lack of transfer activity...no-one turns up
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up