Rafael Nadal had a scare today in his Wimbledon Opener getting pushed to four sets by Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
The 2-time Wimbledon champion cruised early in his first grass match in three years, but the Argentine playing his first grass Slam broke in the third and then led by a break 4-2 in the fourth. Nadal, who tossed in 41 unforced errors, would rally winning 15 of the last 16 points to avoid a decided
Nadal ups his Slam win streak to 15 and the victory was his 306th of his career tying Martina Navratilova for fourth on the Slam match win list.
“First of all, all the credit to Fran. I think he started to play great and [was] a very tough opponent,” Nadal said on court. “It’s obvious that for me it’s been three years without being here, without playing on this amazing surface, so very happy to be back. For me, it’s always amazing playing here on this court and I can’t thank everyone enough for the support.”
Mallorca champion Stefanos Tsitsipas kept rolling topping Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard 7-6(1), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
“Mallorca was a great tournament. The conditions there are a little bit different, much more hot and humid there. Playing on these courts, it’s like watery smooth. It doesn’t get any better,” the Greek said.
Nick Kyrgios went the distance once again at Wimbledon — he’s won all five of his five set matches there — pulling out a tough one over wildcard Paul Jubb.
It was a mixed day for Canadians. While Denis Shapovalov advanced in five sets, Felix Auger Aliassime fell in 4 to the hard-charging volleying beast Maxime Cressy 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(9), 7-6(5).
Cressy came to net a dizzying 134 times against the 2021 quarterfinalist and never let up, winning the last two sets in breakers.
“It’s very special,” Cressy said. “Felix was incredibly focused the whole match. I had to stay focussed until the end. I knew that I would maybe have a few match points and it gets super close. I knew I had to stay in the zone.
“Against a player like him, you have to stay extremely sharp all the time. [He’s an] incredible player. I’m incredibly proud of myself for what I’ve done today.”
Former Wimbledon semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov was up a set on Steve Johnson but pulled up lame in the second with a groin injury. And a day after Marin Cilic withdrew due to COVID, a second positive shook the grounds as 2021 finalist and one of the tournament favorites Matteo Berrettini also tested positive.
In an instagram post, Berrettini made the announcement:
“I am heartbroken to announce that I need to withdraw from Wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result. I have had flu symptoms and been isolating the last few days. Despite symptoms not being severe, I decided it was important to take another test this morning to protect the health and safety of my fellow competitors and everyone else involved in the tournament. I have no words to describe the extreme disappointed I feel. The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger. Thank you for the support”.
Jack Draper, Talyor Fritz, Jenson Brooksby and Roberto Bautista Agut were also winners. American men went a 25-year best 13-3 in the first round.
Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic returns to meet Thanasi Kokkinakis and later on Centre Andy Murray looks to make it 9-0 against the American ace machine John Isner.
Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud are also in action.
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