Friday, 22 June, 2018

Rafael Nadal confirms participation in Queen's Club Championships tennis

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Kristopher Love | 08 February, 2018, 08:39

World number one Rafael Nadal is planning to play the Aegon Championships at Queen's for the first time in seven years.

Much Needed: Rafael Nadal's best performances at Wimbledon have always come after he has played at Queen's, as he reached the Wimbledon final five times between 2006 and 2011, winning in 2008 and 2010.

The world number one was forced to pull out of the Wimbledon warm-up tournament the last two years, suffering a wrist injury in 2016 and then prioritising rest after his French Open victory last summer.

Since the Queen's Club Championships received an upgrade in 2015, becoming a 500-point event, the entry lists have grown stronger with each passing year. It's a great memory winning there and three weeks later winning Wimbledon.

But the Spaniard, who won the Queen's title in 2008, intends to participate in this year's event, which begins on June 18.

"I immediately sent him a text message", Nadal said at the opening of the Mapfre Clinic of Tennis Medicine in Madrid.

The two-time champion at the All England Club said he was aiming to play at Queen's in 2018. Nadal has been a part of this trend, reaffirming a commitment to the tournament that had waned after his run to the quarter-finals in 2011, largely because of a punitive United Kingdom tax regime that allowed HMRC to claim a slice of visiting players' sponsorship income.

If Federer, who claimed his 20th grand slam at the Australian Open last month, makes the semi-finals in the Netherlands he will move to the top of the rankings for the first time since November 2012.

Rafael Nadal joins the five-time victor Andy Murray, who will use this tournament to mark the beginning of his comeback following hip surgery.