Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal thinks it is "positive" for him to play a couple of matches leading up to Wimbledon. On Wednesday, Nadal played his first match on grass this year as he ousted Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic, held at the Hurlingham Club.
After the match, Nadal suggested the days of him playing an ATP event on grass leading up to Wimbledon are long gone. "Honestly, for me, it is positive to play a couple of matches before the competition starts at Wimbledon," Nadal said, per Neil McLeman.
"I used to play at Queen’s a long time ago. I am older now, I can’t manage to play so many matches!"
Rafa said: “Honestly for me it is positive to play a couple of matches before the competition starts at Wimbledon.
Nadal dominated Wawrinka
Nadal got off to a great start to his match against Wawrinka, breaking the Swiss early for a 3-0 lead.
Nadal collected his second break in the sixth game for a 5-1 lead but failed to serve out for the first set in the seventh game. Just when Wawrinka managed to get one break back, he again lost his serve in the eighth game as Nadal sealed the first set.
After winning the first set, Nadal faced three consecutive break points in the opening game of the second set but saved them all to avoid going down by an early break. Nadal then clinched the first break of the second set in the fourth game to open a 3-1 lead but got broken back in the fifth game.
Blowing an early break didn't impact Nadal, who took a 4-2 lead after breaking Wawrinka in the sixth game. Nadal then held on to his serve the rest of the match as he realized his first match point in the ninth game. Nadal will play one more match at the Hurlingham Club.
On Friday, Nadal will meet Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime. On Wednesday, Auger-Aliassime suffered a straight-set defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic.