Monday, August 8, 2022

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Wimbledon: Nadal digs deep to reach second round

Spain’s Rafael Nadal continued his bid for an improbable calendar Grand Slam by fighting off Francisco Cerundolo to win on his return to Wimbledon.

Nadal, 36, was two sets and a break up before the Argentine took the third.

Cerundolo broke early in the fourth but Nadal regained momentum to eventually win 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4 on Centre Court.

The Spaniard feared he might have to retire last year because of chronic foot pain but has won Australian Open and French Open titles this year.

The 22-time major champion was also concerned the issue would rule him out of Wimbledon.

Twice a winner at Wimbledon, Nadal had not played at the All England Club since 2019 and received an affectionate reception on what was eventually a triumphant return to Centre Court.

“All the credit to Fran, he started to play great, he was a very tough opponent,” said Nadal.

“For me it was obvious I hadn’t been here for three years on this amazing surface and it is amazing to be back.

“It is not a surface we play very often and I had not put a foot on a grass court in the past three years.”

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