London:Rafael Nadal has warned Roger Federer that he is ready to end the world number one's reign as Wimbledon champion.
Nadal's pre-eminence on the clay courts of Roland Garros has yielded four successive French Open titles, but he looked almost as comfortable on grass during Sunday's 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 win over Novak Djokovic in the final at Queen's.
Just seven days after destroying Federer in the French Open final, Nadal made a convincing case that this will be the year he finally takes Federer's crown at the All England Club.
Nadal's back-to-back final defeats against Federer at Wimbledon have only fuelled his desire to go one better and winning his first grasscourt title sent the perfect message to the Swiss star.
While Nadal was becoming the first man to win the French Open and Queen's in the same year since the pre-Wimbledon warm-up took its current format 30 years ago, Federer was also getting back in the winning habit in Halle.
Federer bows to no-one on the lush lawns of south-west London but even he must have been slightly uneasy at Nadal's Queen's success.
"For sure he will have noticed. We have very good relationship. For sure I think he's happy for me and I am happy for him," Nadal said.
"To win a prestigious tournament like this, a very traditional tournament is very nice, and it will give me more confidence.
"But I was full of confidence after Roland Garros too, so for me confidence doesn't matter." "You never know what's going on in Wimbledon. I think I am playing well. And if I continue playing like this, I am going to have chances for have a good result there," said Nadal.
"Everybody can win it. I can for sure. I played two finals. Why can't I win it? But it will be a lot of work to win Wimbledon.
"Right now it is very easy for everybody to say I am one of the favorites. But the second Sunday of Wimbledon, we will know who is going be the favourite."
While Nadal jetted back to Mallorca for three days much-needed relaxation on the golf course and in his fishing boat, Djokovic will stay in England ahead of the start of Wimbledon on June 23.
The Australian Open champion was frustrated that he missed several opportunities to avenge his semi-final defeat against Nadal at the French Open.
But he took heart from the way he competed against the sport's in-form player.
"It's good to play him before Wimbledon one time, just to see how it goes and if I'm playing better on grass," Djokovic said.
"I think I'm playing better and better match after match. I've improved my serve a lot. There are some things that I need to work on still, so I have time before Wimbledon," Djokovic said.
"But I'm not thinking about semifinals and finals already. It's a long way through. I've had an intense couple of months. It's been great for me. I've achieved a lot. I just hope to keep on going. The most important thing is to find the balance between work and relaxation and taking some time off."
For short periods of an enthralling Queen's final, Djokovic had the better of Nadal as he rained down a hail of bruising shots from the baseline.
Since winning the Australian Open earlier this year, Djokovic believes his confidence has gone through the roof and he expect that belief to be crucial at Wimbledon.
"It makes a difference being a Grand Slam champion at any tournament," he said. "You have a lot of confidence. You approach every tournament in a different way, with more belief.
"You know that you're on the top. In my case, I'm happy that I can play a great tennis on all kinds of surfaces, which makes me an all around player, which is very important in today's tennis."