Nadal overcomes third set wobble to reach second round

Twitter

Rafael Nadal made a stuttering but rousing return to the grass on Tuesday, beating 41st-ranked Francisco Cerundolo 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4 in Wimbledon's first round to begin his campaign for a third Grand Slam title of the year.

The 36-year-old second seed, who has not played at Wimbledon since 2019 and stayed away from warm-up tournaments with a chronic foot problem, looked to be motoring through the match until a series of unforced errors allowed Cerundolo, 23, back in.

The Argentine upped the tempo and used his booming forehand to overpower twice Wimbledon champion Nadal, who has won 20 other Grand Slam titles, taking the third set and breaking serve in the fourth.

But Nadal, who won the Australian Open in January and the French Open earlier this month, regrouped and used all his experience to fight back, breaking a now nervy opponent twice to seal the match to the delight of a packed Centre Court.

More from Sports

  • Injured Monfils ruled out of US Open

    Gael Monfils has been ruled out of the US Open due to a foot injury the Frenchman suffered last week in Montreal, the world number 22 said on Wednesday.

  • Free-dive champion breaks Deep Dive speed record

    A free diver has completed the quickest 60-metre descent and return to the surface at Deep Dive Dubai.

  • Medvedev gets US Open prep back on track

    Daniil Medvedev looked like he had a point to prove as the Russian got preparations for his U.S. Open title defence back on track with a 6-4 7-5 win over Botic van de Zandschulp in the second round of the Cincinnati Open on Tuesday.

  • All Blacks coach backed by board

    New Zealand Rugby said on Wednesday they endorsed Ian Foster as the right man to coach the All Blacks through to next year's World Cup but said he would have more hands-on support from selector and strategist Joe Schmidt.

  • Serena falls in generational clash against Raducanu

    Rising teenager Emma Raducanu came out on the winning side of a generational clash against tennis icon Serena Williams with a 6-4 6-0 win in their first-round meeting at the Cincinnati Open on Tuesday.