RAFAEL NADAL and Serena Williams have won nine Wimbledon titles between them.
Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams shared a sweet moment outside the Wimbledon practice courts on Monday afternoon as both players prepared for the start of their latest SW19 campaigns. The blockbuster stars have won a combined nine titles at the All England Club throughout their illustrious careers at the top of the game.
Williams, who has been handed a wildcard for this year’s Wimbledon, had been practising from 12pm to 1pm as she warmed up for Tuesday’s first-round clash against French star Harmony Tan. Nadal, meanwhile, booked a later slot on the practice court as he looked to get some time on the grass ahead of his first-round match against Argentine ace Francisco Cerundolo, which is also scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
And as the duo crossed paths on the steps outside the practice courts they embraced. “How are you, good to see you” Nadal said to Williams as he reached out to hold the American’s arm. “Hey, how are you, congratulations on everything” came Williams’ reply as they both scuttled off in opposite directions.
Nadal, 36, has been in imperious form this year, despite being plagued with a chronic foot problem. In January, he won the Australian Open title to lift his 21st Grand Slam trophy and move clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the top of the all-time men’s leaderboard. And the Spaniard got his hands on an incredible 22nd major earlier this month as he won the French Open.
Serena Williams, meanwhile, has spent the last 12 months away from the Tour after being forced to retire from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at last year’s Wimbledon after she slipped and suffered a serious leg injury.
The American returned to the court in the doubles at Eastbourne last week, where she reached the semi-finals before again being forced to pull out after her partner Ons Jabeur suffered a knee injury. But Williams is now set for her first competitive singles match in a year after being handed a wildcard to play at Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal won his first Wimbledon title in 2008 as he came out on top of an epic five-set battle against Roger Federer. He went on to lift the trophy once again in 2010 after dispatching Tomas Berdych in the showpiece event.
Serena Williams’ first triumph at SW19 came in 2002 as she overcame her sister Venus in the final. And the 40-year-old has won the tournament a further six times, with her most recent success coming in 2016 as she defeated Angelique Kerber in the deciding match.