- Reuters picLONDON, June 14 ― Rafael Nadal confirmed yesterday he has pulled out of next week's Aegon Championships at Queen's in order to rest and prepare for Wimbledon.
Nadal, who won his 10th French Open title last Sunday, will not feature at the Queen's Club tournament, which starts Monday.
He said: "There has been a little while since I played a very good Wimbledon".
"It's not that I am apprehensive about playing on grass", said Nadal who won on the grass surface in 2008 and 2010.
The Nitto ATP Finals welcomes more than 250,000 fans to The O2 arena each year, as well as generating a global TV viewership of more than 100 million, as the ATP's best eight singles players and doubles teams compete over eight days at the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world.
"So I hope that my knees hold well and I can have the preparation that I really need and the preparation that I want". Nadal became the first person to take 10 championships at the same Grand Slam event.
The Swiss, likely tired from his mammoth semi-final win against Andy Murray, did not play poorly, but Nadal's huge power and athleticism proved too much for the 2015 French Open victor.
Stan Wawrinka, the reigning US Open champion, the 2014 victor Grigor Dimitrov, and last year's runner-up Milos Raonic will join Juan Martin del Potro, Nick Kyrgios, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych in a quality field. "For me, he's favourite with Federer but Federer won't have the confidence of coming in as French Open champion".
As the sporting world paid their tributes to the 31-year-old, one tribute stood out among the rest, from his historic rival, Federer.
With the win, Nadal also extended his head-to-head lead over Wawrinka to a stellar 16-3, and improves to a ideal 10-0 in French finals. His fierce, heavy-hitting, and aggressive style of play wreaks havoc on his body, but it also makes Nadal the clay-court force that he is.
Nadal now turns his attention to Wimbledon.
The integrity of Queen's remains intact however, with world No. 1 Andy Murray committed to defending his title.
Heading into Roland Garros, he'd lost just one match on clay in 2017. In winning his 10 French Open title - a feat that hasn't been achieved by any other tennis player in the Open Era - Rafa needs to be crowned an all-time great.
Since then he has amassed a career clay court record of 389-35, a winning percentage of more than 90 per cent.
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