Rafael Nadal wary of quick switch to grass after Paris triumph

Rafa Nadal with the iconic Coupe des Mousquetaires in the Roland Garros locker room. Picture: Getty.
Rafa Nadal with the iconic Coupe des Mousquetaires in the Roland Garros locker room. Picture: Getty.
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Rafael Nadal is weighing up his options ahead of Wimbledon following his latest French Open triumph.

The Spaniard claimed his 11th Roland Garros title with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over 
Austria’s Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

But the transition from clay to grass has caused Nadal problems in the past, with injuries hampering his recent Wimbledon campaigns.

The 32-year-old, still world No 1 following his Paris success, is scheduled to play in the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, which begins next week.

However, he said: “I’ve had a long and mentally tough clay-court season because I played almost all the matches possible after coming from an 
injury. So it was a demanding two months for me.

“Now I have to come back to speak with my team and decide what’s better for my body. That’s the main thing, always.

“I would love to be playing in as many places as possible, but you understand I need to check how I feel in the next couple of days.

“It’s a drastic change from clay to grass. And I did it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back.

“But it’s time to check how I feel in the next couple of days.”

Sunday’s victory took Nadal’s grand slam total to 17, three behind Roger Federer.

The 36-year-old Swiss star is likely to be favourite to add to his tally at Wimbledon, and Nadal insists he is not concerned about overhauling his great rival.

He added: “You can’t be frustrated always if somebody has more money than you, if somebody has a bigger house than you, if somebody has more grand slams than you. You can’t live with that feeling. You have to do it your way.

“Of course I would love to have 20 like Roger in the future, or even more, but being honest, it is something that is not in my mind.

“What is in my mind now is I won a very important title for me. I added one more grand slam – 17 is an amazing number.

“I feel very lucky with all of the things that have happened to me. I am enjoying the moment.”

Meanwhile, Liam Broady held off a fightback by wildcard Alex Ward to beat his fellow Briton 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7) in the first round of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.

The 24-year-old Broady, world No 167, cruised to the first set, but Ward struck back to take the contest to a decider.

Ward, 160 places lower than his rival in the world rankings, forced a tiebreak, but Broady emerged victorious.

Former world No 5 Sara Errani has been banned for a further eight months for last year’s anti-doping violation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.

The Italian was suspended for two months in August 2017 after testing positive for cancer treatment drug letrozole, which can increase body mass, the previous February. Errani accepted the presence of the substance in her system but was given a relatively light punishment by the International Tennis Federation after arguing it had been accidentally ingested through contaminated food.

Errani’s mother was being treated for breast cancer at the time and stored her drugs close to an area where food was prepared. Pills were occasionally dropped or spilled, meaning traces could have found a way into meals.

Errani, 31, became eligible to play again from October last year but the ITF’s ruling was subject to two appeals to CAS.

The first, by the Italian national anti-doping agency (Nado Italia), called for a longer suspension to be imposed. The offence carries a maximum ban of two years.

The second appeal came from Errani herself, whose results from February to June 2017 were also annulled after the ruling. She wanted those results reinstated.

Following a hearing, CAS has upheld the Nado Italia appeal and dismissed that of Errani. The court has imposed a ten-month ban, beginning immediately, but with the two months already served deducted.