Second-seeded Rafael Nadal began pursuit of his third career Wimbledon title by posting a 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in a first-round match on Tuesday at the All England Club in London.
It was the first match for the 22-time Grand Slam winner since he won the French Open title on June 5. The Spaniard was dealing with major foot pain throughout the French Open.
“Every day is a test and today has been one of these important tests,” Nadal said after his win on Tuesday. “I know at the beginning of the tournament especially, under the difficult circumstances that I arrived here, the victory is the most important thing because that gives me the chance to practice tomorrow again and to have another match in two days.”
Nadal wasn’t sharp, as he committed 41 unforced errors compared to 23 winners. Cerundolo had 30 winners and 46 unforced errors.
Nadal will next face Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, who notched a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Sam Querrey.
Meanwhile, Maxime Cressy scored a big upset with a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) triumph over sixth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.
The two players combined for 46 aces — 28 by Auger-Aliassime — in a battle that lasted four hours and 10 minutes. Cressy had 59 winners against 29 unforced errors, while Auger-Aliassime had 64 winners and 27 unforced errors.
“It’s very special,” Cressy said. “Felix was incredibly focused the whole match. I had to stay focused 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. Incredible player. I’m incredibly proud of myself for what I’ve done today.”
Cressy will face fellow American Jack Sock in the second round. Sock registered a 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-4 win over Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
Fourth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas moved on with a 7-6 (1), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard.
No. 11 seed Taylor Fritz swept Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, No. 12 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina posted a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Stefan Kozlov and No. 13 Denis Shapovalov of Canada outlasted Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1.
Reilly Opelka, seeded 15th, was a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 winner over Spain’s Carlos Taberner. No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain produced a 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Hungary’s Attila Balazs, while Steve Johnson advanced when No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria retired in the second set with a leg injury.
Also, Australian Nick Kyrgios defeated British wild card Paul Jubb 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-5 but spat in the direction of a fan after the triumph.
–Field Level Media