Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has finished his preparation for Wimbledon after losing to Auger-Aliassime at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic. On Friday, ninth-ranked Auger-Aliassime beat Nadal 7-6 (6) 4-6 10-3 at the Hurlingham Club.
As not a single break point was seen in the first set, the opener had to be resolved in a tie-break. Auger-Aliassime missed out on a set point at 6-5 but realized his second set point at 7-6 to win a tight opener. Nadal responded well to losing the first set, having earned the first break of the match in the fifth game of second set to open a 3-2 lead.
After claiming the first break of the match, Nadal held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider. The two players were tied to one point apiece after the opening two points of the match tie-break, before Nadal suffered a collapse as Auger-Aliassime won the next seven points to go 8-1 up.
There was no way from Nadal after losing seven consecutive points as Auger-Aliassime realized his first match point to complete a three-set win.
Nadal accomplished his goal at the Hurlingham Club
Nadal decided against playing any ATP events on grass leading up to Wimbledon.
Instead, he decided to play two exhibition matches at the Hurlingham Club. "Honestly for me it is positive to play a couple of matches before the competition starts at Wimbledon. I used to play at Queen’s a long time ago now.
I am older now - I can’t manage to play so many matches. For me it is perfect to play a couple of matches here before Wimbledon starts. That helps me to feel at least some competition before Wimbledon," Nadal said.
On Friday, Nadal drew Francisco Cerundolo in the Wimbledon first round. Nadal is aiming to win his third Wimbledon title this year.