World No. 41 Francisco Cerundolo wasn't too disappointed after losing his Wimbledon opener as he acknowledged that playing Rafael Nadal on the Centre Court was a dream come true. Carundolo, 23, was drawn to play record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in his Wimbledon opener.
Cerundolo maybe didn't have much luck with the draw but drawing Nadal gave him a chance to play on the Centre Court in his first-ever Wimbledon match. Cerundolo competed extremely well against Nadal but couldn't pull off an upset as the Spaniard won 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4.
"Today I won much more than I lost. Wimbledon debut, on the Centre Court and against Rafael Nadal, playing a great match. Congratulations to Rafa for the game and for everything he has been doing in his career. Thank you Wimbledon.
I leave with my head held high. To follow!" Cerundolo wrote on Twitter.
Cerundolo tested Nadal
After winning the opening two sets, Nadal broke Cerundolo in the third game of the third set to open a 2-1 lead. Down by two sets and a break, Cerundolo started playing much better as he broke Nadal in the fourth and eighth games to overturn the deficit and force a fourth set.
In the fourth set, Cerundolo had a 4-2 lead and was two games away from forcing a fifth set but Nadal responded by winning the next four games and sealing the victory. After the match, Nadal gave credit to Cerundolo for the way he played and fought.
"First of all, all the credit to Fran. I think he started to play great and [was] a very tough opponent," Nadal said. "It's obvious that for me it's been three years without being here, without playing on this amazing surface, so very happy to be back.
For me, it's always amazing playing here on this court and I can't thank everyone enough for the support."