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‘I’m doing a lot of things better than last year’

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OMINOUS SIGNS: With all the improvements from last year, Rafael Nadal must fancy his chances at Wimbledon this year.
OMINOUS SIGNS: With all the improvements from last year, Rafael Nadal must fancy his chances at Wimbledon this year.

LONDON: Look out, Roger. Rafa says he’s never played better at Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal, who lost to five-time defending champion Roger Federer in the past two Wimbledon finals, reached the semifinals at the All England Club on Wednesday with a dominating performance over Andy Murray, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

What, Nadal was asked, pleased him the most about his play?

“Everything,” Nadal said. “Everything.”

He considered the middle portion of the match the best tennis he’s ever played at Wimbledon.

“I am doing a lot of things better than last year,” Nadal said. “I am slicing better. The position on court, in my opinion, I felt like this is better. Playing more aggressive with the forehand all the time, and the backhand is feeling well, too.”

That all bodes well for the second-ranked Spaniard, who stretched Federer to five sets in last year’s final.

“Last year was close,” said Nadal, who wasted four break points against Federer in the fifth set. “Only one more point and probably I’d have had the trophy in my home.”

Stormy outlook

Meteorologists have delivered a gloomy forecast for the final four days of Wimbledon.

When the men face off in the semifinals on Friday, light showers are expected to clear in the afternoon before more persistent rain arrives in the evening.

Bright spells are forecast for Saturday’s women’s final with the threat of interruptions from heavy rain.

Britain’s Met Office says “confidence is low” for a dry men’s final.

Henman out

Even in retirement, Tim Henman is struggling to progress at Wimbledon.

A throat infection forced the four-time Wimbledon semifinalist to withdraw from commentating duties for the BBC on Wednesday. Henman blamed the workload in the commentary box.

“I’ve done eight days — it’s too much,” Henman said. — AP

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