22-grand slam champion Rafael Nadal started his quest for a third Wimbledon title on a positive note after getting past an inspired Francisco Cerundolo in the first round in four sets 6-4,6-3,3-6,6-4 to win his first match at SW19 in three years. Nadal hadn’t played any grass-court match in the last 3 years and hence wasn’t at his best. But he somehow managed to find a way in the fourth set to wrap up the match.
Nadal is aiming for a calendar slam for the first time in his career. He has won the first two slams this year- the Australian Open and the French Open and is now eyeing winning Wimbledon after 12 years. He is seeded No.2 in the tournament and now, his draw has opened up after last year’s finalist and one of the tournament’s favorites Matteo Berrettini had to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.
But the unfortunate thing for Nadal is that he trained with Berrettini a week ago on the centre court. So even Nadal has a chance to get COVID and in the post-match press conference, Nadal was questioned about the same. Nadal and Berrettini practiced on centre court exactly 5 days before the Italian tested positive for COVID.
“I just hope he recovers as soon as possible”: Rafael Nadal on Matteo Berrettini
Nadal said that he doesn’t think that he a contact case as they were training outside but added that anything can happen. He feels food at the moment and expresses how sorry he was for Berrettini. Nadal wished him a speedy recovery and then spoke about how it is not mandatory for everyone to take a test.
“I don’t think I can be considered a contact case as we were training outside, but anything can happen. Right now I feel good and the most important thing is that I’m really sorry for him. I just hope he recovers as soon as possible. Matteo had been sick for a few days and what I know is that it’s up to you whether you want to take a test. If it is positive, you are eliminated. We can discuss the rules as many times as we want, but these are the rules and we have to follow them, otherwise, the world would be a disaster,” Nadal said.