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Rafael Nadal to play at the Hurlingham Club as he prepares to compete at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal will play his first grass court tournament in THREE years… and he will face three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka at the Hurlingham Club as he ramps up his Wimbledon preparations

  • Rafael Nadal has not competed on grass since he played at Wimbledon in 2019
  • He’s ready to return his lawn to the Hurlingham Club this week
  • He has to face three-time big winner Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday
  • Novak Djokovic will also play at the Hurlingham Club for Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal confirmed on Monday that he will be back to play his first grass field event in three years when he formally signed up to play in Fulham this week.

The French Open king takes a seat at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic at the Hurlingham Club on Wednesday afternoon, where his opponent is Stan Wawrinka.

Novak Djokovic will also play after arriving in the UK over the weekend. The reigning SW19 champion plays a match against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal hasn't played a grass field game since 2019

22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal hasn’t played a grass field game since 2019

He has stated that he will play on grass this year and that he will participate in the Hurlingham Club

He has stated that he will play on grass this year and that he will participate in the Hurlingham Club

Nadal's first opponent at the Hurlingham Club is Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka

Nadal’s first opponent at the Hurlingham Club is Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic is also in action at the Hurlingham Club for Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic is also in action at the Hurlingham Club for Wimbledon

Nadal has been a major doubt for Wimbledon after his foot problems in Paris, and it’s hard to believe he made the choice to try the grass unless he believes he has a real shot at winning at the All England Club. He could hardly imagine in January that he would be halfway through the Grand Slam calendar.

Another great, Serena Williams, will play her first competitive game in nearly a year on Tuesday with the warning that she won’t find it easy to make an immediate comeback.

The American legend, now 40, will team up with Tunisia Ons Jabeur in doubles at Rothesay International in Eastbourne, her only warm-up before Wimbledon next week.

Still, last year’s smitten SW19 finalist, Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova, warned that it will be difficult to return with so little tennis behind her. Williams retired from her first round appearance at the All England Club in 2021 and has hardly been seen since.

Serena Williams to play in Eastbourne after being sidelined last year

Serena Williams to play in Eastbourne after being sidelined last year

Karolina Pliskova thinks Williams could struggle after her long absence from tour

Karolina Pliskova thinks Williams could struggle after her long absence from tour

“I don’t know how long it’s been since she played, has it been a year?” asked Pliskova. “It’s been a long time and she’s not the youngest anymore, so I suppose the body needs some time to get back into shape too.

‘Playing matches in tournaments is quite different from just practicing and she just plays doubles.

“I think it’s going to be hard, super hard for her, whatever kind of player she is, because this is something you need some time to do.

‘But of course she is a great player, she has achieved so much. Still, some players will be super scared to play her. This is her advantage, but let’s look at the level.’

Williams appeared in no rush to make up for lost time on Monday and canceled her training at Devonshire Park on short notice but had been back on track this weekend.

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