Nadal: I shouldn't have played at Wimbledon last year
Rafael Nadal has admitted he should not have played at Wimbledon last year.
The two-time SW19 champion, 27, suffered a shock second-round defeat to then world No. 100 Lukas Rosol 12 months ago and, although he did not reveal any injury problems at the time, Nadal pulled out of defending his Olympic title a month later because of a long-standing knee injury.
He was out for seven months, missing the US and Australian Opens, before returning in February. Nadal has won 43 of his 45 matches since his comeback, including a record eighth French Open title at Roland Garros.
"Last year I played [at Wimbledon] because it is a tournament that I love, but I was not ready to play here," Nadal said. "I tried my best. I don't have anything to learn from that match because it's not an excuse. Rosol played a fantastic fifth set.
"He probably would have beaten me if I was healthy.
"It's not the case that just because I am healthy, I'm going to play better this year. But that experience for me last year was too much. I suffered too much."
Nadal has been seeded fifth for Wimbledon this year, and a likely path to the final could include a quarter-final meeting with Roger Federer, a semi-final against Andy Murray and a final with Novak Djokovic.
But the Spaniard is not fazed by the draw.
"My view is if I arrive to the quarter-finals, it is because I will be ready," he added. "Then you can win, you can lose. But for me, it's going to be very tough to be there.
"It's completely fair that I am number five and David is number four. He has won his privilege to be number four before me, and that's it."
Nadal will open his bid for a third Wimbledon title against Belgian Steve Darcis.