'It was risky health-wise what Rafael Nadal...', says former ATP ace



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'It was risky health-wise what Rafael Nadal...', says former ATP ace

After beating Stan Wawrinka clearly in the first match played at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic, Rafael Nadal returned to play at the Hurlingham Club. This time, despite a rather positive performance, the Spanish champion was unable to beat his opponent and surrendered with the score of 6-7, 6-4, 3-10.

To stop Nadal was Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian had only collected three games against Novak Djokovic last Wednesday and found a way to raise his head before the start of Wimbledon. In the first set, they both held the serve without too much trouble.

Only Nadal had to resort to the advantages at 4-4. A bad forehand mistake did not allow the Majorcan to get off to a good start in the tie-break that decided the first set. Auger-Aliassime, however, got his rival back in the running by sending a comfortable backhand at 1-1.

The current number nine in the ranking returned to the lead thanks to a splendid passerby and obtained the most important mini-break using Nadal’s wrong volley. In the second half of the game, however, the Manacor phenomenon signed the first break of the day, sending Auger-Aliassime out of the way with the forehand.

The Spaniard did not encounter any major problems in his service and secured the super tie-break by keeping his time at zero. The two free players hit by Nadal with the forehand have given confidence to the Canadian, who has no longer made a mistake and closed the accounts by winning the super tie-break with a resounding 10-3.

Nadal will make his Wimbledon debut next Tuesday and will face Argentine Francisco Cerundolo.

Davydenko speaks about Nadal

In a recent interview with CLAY, Davydenko spoke about Rafael Nadal capturing his 14th French Open title and 22nd Grand Slam at Roland Garros earlier this month.

"Usually, the bigger chance to beat [Rafael] Nadal in Paris is in the early rounds, because he is still not playing his best," Davydenko said. "It is amazing what he has done. I think it was risky health-wise what he has done with the foot, but he is absolutely allowed to do it.

Maybe his mentality was that it might be his last Roland Garros, so he went all-in not minding the consequences." Davydenko also spoke about the difference between playing Nadal on clay and hardcourt. "For me, playing against Nadal on hard felt like playing against just another opponent," the Russian said.

"I have beaten him in all our matches on hardcourt, but I lost every match on clay, which is expected, he is still winning Roland Garros. There were many matches that I remember fondly."