Wimbledon Needs Rafael Nadal

Jerry MullisContributor IJune 7, 2009

With all the talk lately being primarily about Roger Federer getting the career Grand Slam and record-tying 14th Grand Slam, Rafael Nadal's knee injury has flown under the radar.

Two days ago, Nadal released a statement saying he would not be able to play Queens this year (the warm-up on grass for Wimbledon that he won last year) making two things very clear: He was not at 100 percent health for the French Open and there is a great chance he may be out for Wimbledon if his knee isn't up to par by then.

It seems obvious that Federer will once again be the favorite to win Wimbledon, even if a healthy Nadal is in the tournament this year. What isn't certain, however, is how appealing a Wimbledon final would be without Federer and Nadal going at it in another classic match.

Everyone saw today what a final is like without Nadal around, and it's a scary sight.

A three-set match win isn't suspenseful in the least.

Last year in the Wimbledon final, the two superstars produced one of the greatest matches in tennis history and without Nadal in the biggest Grand Slam of the year, it won't be nearly as entertaining.

The competition just isn't there. The only person on this planet that seems to be able to play Federer well is Nadal. Djokovic and Roddick lack the mental toughness, Andy Murray has the mental toughness but not quite enough shot-making ability, and all the rest seem to cower when on the same court as Roger in a Grand Slam.

Sure, another lower-ranked surprise opponent could make their way through the draw and maybe even get the British crowd behind them for two weeks, but honestly, unless you're Nadal or have the entire United Kingdom backing someone, no one will beat Roger Federer on grass.

This is why the All England Lawn Tennis Club needs Rafael Nadal to get well—and soon!

Send him cards, chocolates, whatever his knee desires, but get him to the club for Wimbledon on June 22.

If he were to not be able to play, this would be only the second time in Wimbledon history that a reigning champion could not defend their title.