• Rafa Nadal is set to take on Taylor Fritz in the quarters
  • Fritz defeated Nadal at Indian Wells final earlier this year
  • Nadal recently won his 22nd Grand Slam title by winning the Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal’s coach Francisco Roig said when the Spaniard arrived at Wimbledon, he was "unsure" but now he is one of the "favorites" to win the tournament.

Working with his two coaches, Roig and Marc Lopez, the two-time champion Nadal has been working hard to win the ongoing Wimbledon. Nadal defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets and will now take on Taylor Fritz in the quarters on Wednesday at All England Club.

"We managed to train a lot, there were a couple of days when we almost played for four hours. When we got here, the first thing was to be able to compete. He arrived here unsure about his foot treatment in Mallorca, even though it went well for him. The goal was to keep playing better every day. Now we’re in that situation," Roig told ATP after Nadal’s training session ahead of his clash with Fritz.

"Given how last-minute it was, we can be happy after three years without playing on grass. So far, we’re doing well. When we arrived, we weren’t thinking about winning, but now he is among the favorites," added Roig.

The upcoming quarter-final is the 24-year-old Fritz’s best run in Wimbledon and he would like to extend it by beating Nadal and reach his maiden Grand Slam semi-final.

"Taylor is a player that was very promising. Today, his game has progressed a lot, he’s had his best results quite recently. Now he hits the ball quite well, and maybe before he struggled with mobility. Today he moves much better and that’s why his ranking has gone up. He’s very dangerous on grass, he hits the ball hard. We’ll have to have a great day," added Roig in the same interview.

Nadal and Fritz have a head-to-head record of 1-1, with Fritz winning their previous meeting. The American tennis star beat Nadal in the Paribas Open final in Indian Wells earlier this year. By doing so, Fritz had ended Nadal’s incredible 21-match winning streak.

Nadal, however, played with a rib fracture in that game that subsequently saw him miss the next three ATP tours in Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

Moving on: Rafael Nadal
Moving on: Rafael Nadal AFP / Glyn KIRK

The former World No. 1 player returned to action at Madrid Open, where he lost to compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in the quarters. A chronic foot injury led to Nadal’s straight-set loss to Denis Shapovalov in the third round of the Italian Open in Rome.

However, Nadal went on to clinch his 22nd Grand Slam by thrashing Norwegian Casper Rudd in the French Open final, which was also Nadal’s 14th Roland Garros trophy.