Rafael Nadal sidelines seeding woe to focus on Wimbledon

The decision to make Rafael Nadal the third seed at Wimbledon did not go down all that well with the Spaniard, but he is ready for action.

Rafael Nadal: "For me the goal is the same always, it doesn't matter if I'm second or third."   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal is ready to put his Wimbledon seeding complaint behind him and make his mark at the All England Club.

The Spaniard is ranked second in the world and expressed disappointment at being seeded third, leaving him in the same half of the draw as Roger Federer. But the two-time Wimbledon champion acknowledged his respect for the grass-court Grand Slam and the need to get on with the task at hand, which begins with a match against Yuichi Sugita.

"I respect the Wimbledon rules," he said. "Another thing is if I believe that is fair or not, that's another story. I really personally believe it is not. It is not only about grass. The season is not only on grass. All the players work so hard to be where they are, then arrive here, they see a possibility to be in a tougher draw because of that.

Read | Nadal's nightmare Wimbledon draw

"But I really respect the tournament so much. I really respect the history of this event.

"I really understand that they see the sport from another perspective. They want to do it by their own rules. I come here to play tennis. For me the goal is the same always, it doesn't matter if I'm second or third."

A key challenge for Nadal is making the tricky transition from clay, a surface on which he is so dominant, to grass. But the French Open champion is confident he will be able to hit the ground running in London, despite having lost to Marin Cilic and Lucas Pouille at Hurlingham.


"I feel ready to practice this afternoon and to practice tomorrow. That's my goal," he said on Saturday. "It's day-by-day, step-by-step. I have been improving every single day since I arrived here. In Hurlingham, I didn't play bad, just played against players that have been playing on grass for many matches. That's it. I played against two good players. I play against Sugita the first round. That's the main thing for me, the main preparation for me."

Nadal's two SW19 triumphs came in 2008 and 2010, though he did reach the semifinals last year.

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