Rafael Nadal eliminated the fear against Serundolo and entered the second round

Rafael Nadal overcame fears at his Wimbledon opener on Tuesday, bounced back from dropping the third set and broke down in the fourth set, eventually beating Argentina’s Francisco Serundolo.

Second-seeded Nadal, playing on the grass for the first time since the 2019 Wimbledon semifinal defeat against Roger Federer, won 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 against 41st-ranked Serundolo, who was doing his best. . England club debut.

But the 36-year-old Spaniard, who has captured the Australian and French Open this year and did so in a difficult way to stand halfway through the first men’s calendar slam since 1969.

After costing the first two sets on center court, he surrendered an early break in the third set and then lost 3-1 and 4-2 in the fourth set.

“It’s wonderful to be back, three years without being here on this wonderful surface,” Nadal said.

“We don’t play often on the grass, especially in my case. I haven’t even set foot on the grass in the last three years.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion, arrived at the tournament with a question mark over his durability after playing the entire French Open for two weeks with anesthetized his left ankle.

He has since undergone a course of radio frequency stimulation, aimed at reducing nerve pain in his legs.

“Every day is a test. I am at the beginning of the tournament and everyone knows what difficult circumstances I had, ”he said.

“But the most important thing for me is that I’m at Wimbledon in 2022 and I won the first match.”

Nadal will face Lithuania’s Ricardus Barancis in the last 32.

The Spaniard’s bid for a third title in the tournament gained momentum early Tuesday when 2021 runner-up Matteo Beretini, a potential semi-final rival, withdrew after a positive test for Covid.

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