|Tuesday, 26 June 2012 15:30|
LONDON: Being neither "arrogant" nor "crazy", Spanish ace Rafa Nadal is refusing to think about a third Wimbledon title ahead of his first-round match against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci tonight, Reuters reported.
Having won a record seventh French Open title earlier this month by beating great rival Novak Djokovic in the final, Nadal could be forgiven for allowing his thoughts to wander to the possibility of another title in London.
"I'm very happy the way things went the last couple of months, since the beginning of the season," said Nadal.
"Thinking about winning another title here in Wimbledon is arrogant and crazy. That's something I cannot think about."
Meanwhile, looking as though she could barely be bothered to get off the chair, five-times champion Venus Williams crashed out in the opening round yesterday when she was beaten 6-1 6-3 by Elena Vesmina of Russia.
It was the former world number one's earliest loss at Wimbledon since she went out in the opening round on her debut here in 1997 and, following her second-round defeat at Roland Garros last month, must raise questions about her in the game she has graced for a decade and a half.
At the age of 32, and trying to come back after being diagnosed with the autoimmune, fatigue-inducing illness Sjogren's Syndrome, Venus looked a shadow of the woman who used to skip across Wimbledon's grass slaying opponents at will.
The American never recovered from a terrible start against doubles specialist Vesnina and lasted just 75 minutes on Court Two in a match she littered with unforced errors.
Almost every shot looked an effort for the tall American and at changeovers she walked slowly to and from her chair.
Though the fans applauded politely as Vesnina took point after point, most were rooting for Venus to show her old form but she obliged only in tiny flashes.
Perhaps buoyed up by a cry of "Come on Venus, we love you!" from a man in the crowd, she produced an ace and held to love for 3-5 in the second set but it was too little, too late and she succumbed to defeat in the following game.
Venus, who returned to the tour in March after seven months out with her illness, took umbrage at suggestions that she was struggling and might now think about retirement.
"There is no way I am just going to sit out just because I had a hard time the first five or six freaking tournaments back, that is just not me," said Venus, who failed to hold her serve during the opening set.
"I am tough, let me tell you, tough as nails."