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Rafael Nadal fit to sparkle at Queen's

By Nick Purewal

Rafael Nadal will break his four-year Queen's Club absence today because his "knees are fine", the first three months of his season were "terrible" and UK tax rules for overseas sports stars have eased.

Nadal conceded he was "not surprised" he failed to win the French Open, an otherwise home-away-from-home for the clay court king.

The 29-year-old insisted "I don't know and I don't care much now" if he wins a major title this season or not. Nadal won his first grass court title for five years at Stuttgart last week however, and might just be well-placed to reach a Wimbledon quarter-final for the first time since finishing as runner-up in 2011.

"It's obvious that if my knees are fine I have chances to compete well, and grass is the second surface where I had more success in my career," said Nadal, who faces Alex Dolgopolov today.

"I feel comfortable but I have to play well. Today I don't have physical limitation like I had in 2012 and 2013, so that's important.

"I didn't play well enough before (the French Open) but in the last month and a half I feel that I am playing better."

Meanwhile, Lleyton Hewitt bowed out of his final Queen's Club appearance with a first-round defeat to Kevin Anderson in the Aegon Championships.

The 34-year-old Australian - holding the joint record as a four-time Queen's champion - slipped out to Anderson 6-7 (5/7) 7-5 6-2, after entering the draw on a wildcard.

Belfast Telegraph

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