Rafael Nadal begins the quest for his third Wimbledon title this week when he takes on Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the opening round at SW19, as Bet365 announce they are live streaming every game this year from this Grand Slam tournament.
The Spaniard celebrated his seventh French Open victory earlier this month and he would love to follow this up with success at Wimbledon.
The 26-year-old will go down as one of the all-time greats whatever happens, but there is no doubt that he would like to rack up as many Grand Slam wins as possible while he is in the peak of his career.
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In terms of his attitude ahead of Wimbledon, Nadal will be relishing the prospect of another major tournament. The gap between the French Open and Wimbledon is small, but when you are on a role, this isn’t a problem.
Having won four tournaments this year already – all since the middle of April – Nadal is certainly on top of his game right now. He has admitted that he is ‘very happy’ with his game too, so opponents should be aware.
This includes Bellucci who Nadal faces in the first round on Tuesday. The World No.80 made it to the third round at Wimbledon in 2010, but he knows that this will be a massive task to repeat this time around.
In terms of his strengths, Bellucci has a big forehand, while his two-handed backhand can force opponents onto the back foot. Whether this is enough to compete with, let alone defeat, Nadal though is another matter.
The 24-year-old will want to do himself proud though and perhaps give the crowd something to cheer about at some stage in the match. He will not want to simply roll over for Nadal.
The odds available for this encounter reflect the difficult task Bellucci has. The Brazil No.1 can be backed at 25/1, while Nadal – who could meet Andy Murray in the semi-finals – is as short as 1/41.