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Nadal won’t play before Wimbledon

FRENCH Open champion, Rafael Nadal, said he will play no grasscourt warm-up tournaments ahead of Wimbledon but is confident he can mount a challenge for a third title in southwest London.

The Spaniard collected his 12th Roland Garros crown by beating Dominic Thiem on Sunday, moving him just two Grand Slam titles behind Roger Federer’s record of 20.

The 33-year-old will now head back home to Mallorca to recharge his batteries before heading to Wimbledon at the end of the month.

Nadal won at the All England Club in 2008 and 2010 but his record there since then has been mixed, although he did reach the semifinal last year.

“I know I played a great event last year. I have been able to be very close to win another title there,” Nadal, who was edged out by Novak Djokovic in an epic semifinal last year, told reporters in Paris.

“As everybody knows, I love to play on grass. And as everybody knows, I am not able to play so many weeks in a row like I did 10 years ago, eight years ago.”

Meanwhile, former world number one Maria Sharapova is set to return to the tour after accepting a wildcard entry at the Mallorca Open, four months after undergoing surgery on her right shoulder.

The Russian has not competed since she withdrew from a second-round match at the WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in January and she skipped the entire claycourt season, including the French Open. – Reuters

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