Rafael Nadal offers empathy for Matteo Berrettini after Wimbledon withdrawal

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Rafael Nadal offers empathy for Matteo Berrettini after Wimbledon withdrawal

Rafael Nadal said he is sorry for Matteo Berrettini and wished the Italian a quick recovery from COVID and added he is not worried that he might follow the Italian on the Wimbledon withdrawal list. On Tuesday, Berrettini announced his COVID test returned as positive.

Berrettini, who was considered among top favorites for the Wimbledon title, didn't even get a chance to make a run at his maiden Grand Slam this fornight. “It is difficult to be a close contact when you are outside and when you are practising,” Nadal said.

“It’s just that in the outdoors, things look like historically they are more difficult. But anything can happen, no? For the moment I am feeling great, no problems at all. The main thing is I feel very sorry for him because he was playing fantastically, winning two tournaments before this tournament started.

He's a very good colleague on tour. We know each other well. I know how sad he will probably feel today? So I am sorry for him and wish him a quick recovery. If I am not wrong, Matteo has been sick for a couple of days He was unlucky the last couple of months, without a doubt”.

The draw opens up for Nadal

On Tuesday, Nadal got off to a solid start at Wimbledon as he defeated Francisco Cerundolo 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4. Before the tournament started, tennis pundits named Novak Djokovic as the top favorite and many had Berrettini as the second favorite.

With Berrettini out, Nadal now has a clear path to the Wimbledon final and there is no doubt that he is now the second favorite for the title at The Championships. The draw opened up for Nadal for several reasons as on Tuesday Felix Auger-Aliassime and Sam Querrey suffered surprise losses. Instead of facing 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist Querrey, Nadal faces next Ricardas Berankis.