Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal excelled in his first grass court match of the year by defeating three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic in Hurlingham. Nadal wasted no time on the court, as he earned the first break of the match in the second game and took a 3-0 lead after the first three games of the match.
Wawrinka served in game four to go ahead and cut the deficit to 1-3, but it didn’t take long for Nadal to earn another break by breaking the Swiss again in game six for a 5-1 lead. Nadal faltered in game seven, but got his third break of the set in game eight, when Wawrinka served to stay in the match.
After dropping the first set, Wawrinka had a chance to start the second with an early break, but squandered three consecutive break points in the first game. In the fourth game, Nadal got the first break of the second set for a 3-1 lead, but Wawrinka broke again in the fifth game.
However, the one-game loss didn’t affect Nadal, who broke Wawrinka again in game six for a 4-2 lead. Nadal held serve from him the rest of the match to complete a straight-sets victory. Last week, Nadal began his preparation for Wimbledon.
After spending a week training in Mallorca, Nadal said that he was happy with the response of his foot and announced that he would play two exhibition matches at Hurlingham before Wimbledon.
Alex Corretja comments on Nadal
Speaking to Eurosport, Alex Corretja talked about how Rafael Nadal’s strength is to take things one match at a time and that he will look to do the same at SW19.
“I feel like 2022 for Rafa, it’s a miracle, since the very beginning of the year,” Corretja said. “After winning the first tournament, then the first Slam, he then got hurt again and he didn’t have that much time to prepare for Roland-Garros.”
Corretja added that he doesn’t think winning the Calendar Slam will be on Nadal’s mind. “I don’t think he feels like winning the Calendar Slam; it’s not on his mind,” Corretja said. “He is just going there to practice from the first day, get ready, and probably have the best chance he can for the first round.
This is his only goal. Then he will go little by little. This is why Rafa deals very well with these kinds of situations because he knows where he is and he just goes for it, just being realistic.”