• Babajide EverBlazin

Nadal defeats Francisco Cerundolo to book second round place at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal made a stunnning return to the grass on Tuesday, beating Francisco Cerundolo to book a second round place at the Wimbledon, as he continues his quest for a third successive Grand Slam title in 2022.

The 36-year-old second seed, who has not played at Wimbledon since 2019, beat the 41st-ranked Argentine 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Nadal won the first set after uncharacteristically coming into the net and forcing Cerundolo to hit a forehand wide. A little skip and a fist pump and the Spaniard was on his way.

He won the second set after breaking serve in the sixth game and serving out to love.

But the 23-year-old Cerundolo, who broke into the top 100 only in February, upped the tempo in the third set and found the lines with his booming forehand to put the twice Wimbledon champion on the back foot.

"It is not a surface that we play very often, especially in my case in the last three years I didn't put any foot on the grass,"

"Every day is a test and I am at the beginning of the tournament and the difficult circumstances (under which) I arrived here." Nadal told the Centre Court crowd.

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