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Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 14:28 UK

Nadal to rest after Wimbledon win

Rafael Nadal
Nadal showed off the trophy from the town hall in Manacor on Tuesday

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of this week's Mercedes Cup event in Stuttgart to rest a knee injury picked up on his way to winning the Wimbledon title.

The 22-year-old suffered the injury in his third-round win over Mikhail Youzhny and flew to Germany in person to apologise to tournament organisers.

He then returned to his home town of Manacor in Majorca.

"My doctors have said I need a couple of days rest. I will now get examined for an exact diagnosis," he said.

"I only want to return to the court once I am 100% fit. I have to recover."

Nadal modest after drama of final

Nadal, who was the defending champion for the clay-court event, has played 47 matches since mid-March, winning six titles including the French Open and Wimbledon, and reaching another final.

His epic five-set win over Roger Federer in Sunday's Wimbledon final saw him become the first Spaniard since 1966 to win the title.

Federer, who was aiming for a record-equalling sixth successive Wimbledon title, recovered from two sets down to go the distance.

And Nadal admitted that Federer's revival made him doubt whether he could hang on.

"I was worried," he told BBC Sport. "I was playing against the best player in the world, I know how well he can play, so it's very difficult to beat him anywhere, even more so at Wimbledon.


"I tried to be positive and play it point by point, and then wait if I had my chance."

Federer was gracious in defeat, but admitted that the fact he had played in what is already being spoken of as possibly the greatest final in Wimbledon history was little consolation for the pain of losing.

"Maybe in 20 years, but not right now," he said.

"It's more disappointing, accepting the fact that I'm not the titleholder any more which I was so proud of for five years - it's great being part of such a match but right now, that doesn't give me anything."

Federer reflects on defeat in final

But the 26-year-old was quick to dispel any suggestions he may not have the stomach for a fight in the future.

"I'm sure I'll find motivation to come back here and win again," he said.

"I'm healthy and motivated and fit and eager, so I hope I can come back many more times and enjoy Centre Court as I did for the last two weeks. I'm already looking forward to next year."

Former three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker said Nadal's win confirmed his status as the world's best player.

I have just witnessed the greatest match I have ever seen

Bjorn Borg

"Whoever wins the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year for me is the number one in the world," he said.

"The computer just didn't get it yet."

This year's final was the longest in history, beating the record set by John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors in 1982, and McEnroe said it was "the greatest match I have ever seen."

And Wimbledon legend Bjorn Borg was also lavish in his praise.

"I have just witnessed the greatest match I have ever seen. The drama, the quality and the way it ended when it seemed as though no more tennis could possibly be played was remarkable, to put it mildly."

Live coverage of the match on BBC1 was watched by a peak of 12.7m viewers, more than 47% of the British audience.

see also
Henman on Nadal's Wimbledon win
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Becker's verdict on men's final
07 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Federer stung by 'hardest loss'
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Nadal wins epic Wimbledon final
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Federer v Nadal as it happened
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon photos
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis

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