Vic sent in a translation of this article by Juan Jose Mateo at elpais.com. (And yes, I was sleeping – I’m on US time.)
To London with the gymnasium on his back
Nadal prepares Wimbledon in a swimming pool and travels to the tournament with the physical therapy machines
Rafael Nadal is in the swimming pool. nine days have passed already since he lost in the fourth round of Roland Garros. Seven since two days of medical tests in the knees have recommended rest, and forced him to resign from the tournament Queen’s and have put in danger his participation in Wimbledon, which will start on Monday. Nevertheless, the champion not solace under the sun, but he sweats. The swimming pool is not an entertainment. It is hard work. The number one, whit his position at stake, devoted two hours daily to tennis and some more to his physicist while he was working in Majorca, divided between the court, the gymnasium, the stretcher of the physiotherapist and the swimming pool, where his joints do not suffer the impacts of the soil. It is not enough for the time being. Nadal went yesterday to London with a heavy baggage: with him there were traveling three persons and the machines of thermotherapy, mesotherapy and physical therapy with which he recovers from the tendinitis of insertion and the bony edema that he suffers.
“Rafael has worked very well the physic, with short times of recovery, big intensity and force, looking for resistance”, says Francis Roig, his technical adviser, that has just closed a cycle of five working days with the Majorcan in Manacor; “he has been swimming at home to do aerobic work. Joan [Forcades, trainer] is very satisfied. Rafa is doing a correct preparation, forcing more each day. He is not in top form, but thereâ€™s time left. He has been doing machines and he is well”.
“I see the evolution of the injury going well”, doctor Cotorro coincided yesterday while he was waiting for a call from the tennis player to know how his first practice had gone on grass: “He is training solid, but until Friday we will not know how he adapts himself to the grass, where the supports are different”. The number one is considering playing the Hurlingham exhibition that day. Then he will know if he disputes Wimbledon or not. What remains to be known is the state of his mind, of his interior balances, the perspective with which Nadal looks at the new stage. Then, the matter is playing in Wimbledon without having disputed a previous grass tournament as Roger Federer did before winning in 2007.
“The best thing that Rafael has is the mentality “, Roig sums up, who together with Toni Nadal, uncle and trainer of the Majorcan, devoted time and words to reinforce his pupilâ€™s best weapon, the one which has suffered most: the mind, the muscle with which Nadal moves mountains. “If someone can overcome it, it is him. He had Roland Garros in property and to lose made him annoyed. That was going around his head because he was having an excellent year, with his number one under control, and now it is in danger. The three were speaking about it: Toni, him and I. ‘You have to take a look at what you have done, everything that you can do, and not what you have lost’, we were telling him.: â€˜You have four Roland Garros with 23 years and many more to be won again!”.
“We have insisted on trying to play more forward, on looking more for the ball, going out for it”, says Roig; “also he has work a lot on the serve, its direction, which is a little more cut and, at the level of gesture, more loose. He has been serving very well when on the clay tour it was something that cost him more. On grass, the movement, the jump, everything is more complicated. Not having gone to Queen’s, it is clear that Wimbledon is not the easiest thing. But the first week is not the same as the second one!â€ If Nadal plays in Wimbledon, he will dispute two tournaments. In the first week, according to the drawing, he can be exposed to big dangers. If he gets to the second one, say the experts, whatch out: the champion will be on the loose.