Tennis: French Open champion Rafael Nadal to prepare for Wimbledon at Hurlingham exhibition event

The tournament organisers confirmed that Rafael Nadal will participate in two exhibition matches next Wednesday and Friday.
The tournament organisers confirmed that Rafael Nadal will participate in two exhibition matches next Wednesday and Friday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(REUTERS) - World No. 2 tennis star Rafael Nadal has entered next week's Aspall Tennis Classic in Hurlingham to get some grass-court play under his belt ahead of next month's Wimbledon Championships.

The tournament organisers confirmed that the 33-year-old, who has opted to skip competitive tennis since his 12th French Open title triumph earlier this month, will participate in two exhibition matches next Wednesday (June 26) and Friday.

"I am always happy to play at The Hurlingham Club and be close to UK tennis fans," the Spaniard said in a statement.

"It is a prestigious ground in one of the best settings in the UK, making it the perfect way to warm up for Wimbledon."

The tournament will also feature last year's Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson, Nick Kyrgios, Marin Cilic, Lucas Pouille, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Marcos Baghdatis.

Nadal, a 18-time Grand Slam winner, will be bidding for his third title at Wimbledon, which kicks off on July 1, after winning the tournament in 2008 and 2010.

Last year he reached the semi-finals where he was beaten by rival Novak Djokovic, the eventual champion, in a five-set thriller.