Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal showed his class after losing to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic, calling the Canadian an "amazing player." On Friday, Auger-Aliassime edged out Nadal at the Hurlingham Club 7-6 (6) 4-6 10-3.
Nadal is now hoping to be fully fit for Wimbledon as he is set to compete at The All England Club for the first time since 2019. "The goal is achieved. It was great to play an amazing player like Felix. Today he was a little bit better than me but it has been a positive few days.
I have not played on this surface for three years so every day is a chance and an opportunity. I hope to be 100 percent ready for the start of the tournament."
Nadal got some action ahead of Wimbledon
As expected, Nadal didn't play any ATP grass events leading up to Wimbledon.
Instead, Nadal opted to play two exhibition matches at the Hurlingham Club. On Wednesday, Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets. Nadal went 1-1 at the Hurlingham Club but winning or losing was not the most important thing for him this week.
For Nadal, it was about getting some matches under his belt and getting his feel and touch on the grass. "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 learned his Wimbledon first round opponent would be Francisco Cerundolo. Nadal and Novak Djokovic were not placed in the same part of the draw as they could only potentially meet in the Wimbledon final.