Rafael Nadal wins opening match at Wimbledon in four sets
Rafael Nadal got his Wimbledon campaign off to a winning start, though he needed four sets to do it.
The second-seeded Nadal defeated Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on Centre Court.
The Spaniard is attempting to win his third consecutive Grand Slam tournament to add to his men’s record 22 major titles.
It was Nadal’s first match since winning the French Open earlier this month. The three weeks off showed at times, as Nadal, who also won the Australian Open this year, amassed 41 unforced errors to go with 23 winners.
Unseeded Maxime Cressy of the United States upset sixth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime, the highest men’s seed to be eliminated so far. Cressy defeated the Canadian 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5).
The 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime was a quarterfinalist last year for his best result at the All England Club.
Cressy came into Wimbledon in good form, having been runner-up to fellow American Taylor Fritz at the grass-court Eastbourne tournament last weekend.
The 11th-seeded Fritz also advanced Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Lorenzo Musetti. Fritz had 16 aces while winning 84% of his first serves and converting four of eight break points to defeat the unseeded Italian.
American Marcos Giron pulled off a mild upset with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Denmark’s Holger Rune, who was seeded 24th.
Feliciano Lopez’s record-equaling Wimbledon appearance ended in the first round. The unseeded Spaniard lost to Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Lopez was playing in his 81st Grand Slam event, equaling Roger Federer’s all-time record for most Grand Slam men’s singles appearances. He had played in 79 in a row as of this year’s Australian Open, another record for men, but failed to qualify for the French Open to end that streak.
Emma Raducanu and Carlos Alcaraz, a pair of 19-year-olds, are drawing plenty of early attention at Wimbledon as they further establish their careers.
At 40 years, 293 days, Lopez was the oldest man to start the main-draw singles at Wimbledon since Neale Fraser (41 years, 275 days) in 1975.
Nick Kyrgios outlasted British wild-card entry Paul Jubb in five sets to advance to the second round. The 27-year-old Australian won 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-5 against his 219th-ranked opponent.
Two-time Wimbledon women’s champion Petra Kvitova advanced to the second round. The 25th-seeded Czech, who came into the tournament after winning the grass-court tune-up event at Eastbourne, beat Jasmine Paolini of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Kvitova won the title at the All England Club in 2011 and 2014. She was then attacked in her home in 2016 and suffered knife injuries to her playing left hand. She later had surgery and needed more than five months to recover.
American teenager Coco Gauff rebounded from a set down to beat Elena-Gabriela Ruse 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the first round.
The 18-year-old Gauff was the runner-up at the French Open but needed three sets to get past the 54th-ranked Romanian.
The 11th-seeded Gauff got the go-ahead break in the third set at 5-5 on her sixth break point of the game when Ruse double-faulted.
Seventy-five years ago, Jack Kramer won his first and only Wimbledon title, using it as a springboard to a pro-career template many players would follow.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 36 matches — the longest run on the women’s tour since 1997. Swiatek beat Croatian qualifier Jana Fett 6-0, 6-3 on Centre Court.
Matteo Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, has pulled out of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.
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