'Rafael Nadal got ahead on the scoreboard without...', says top coach

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'Rafael Nadal got ahead on the scoreboard without...', says top coach

Rafael Nadal said he is sorry for Matteo Berrettini and wished the Italian a speedy recovery from COVID and added that he is not worried that he may follow the Italian on the Wimbledon retirement list. On Tuesday, Berrettini announced that his COVID test had come back positive.

Berrettini, who was considered one of the main favorites for the Wimbledon title, did not have the opportunity to play this Grand Slam. "It's hard to be a close contact when you're away and when you're practicing," Nadal said.

"It's just that outdoors, things historically seem more difficult. But anything can happen, right? At the moment I feel very well, without any problem. The main thing is that I am very sorry because I was playing fantastic, winning two tournaments before this tournament started.

He is a very good colleague on tour. We know each other well. I know how sad he's probably feeling today... So I feel sorry for him and wish him a speedy recovery. If I'm not mistaken, Matteo has been sick for a couple of days. He has been unlucky the last two months, no doubt." On Tuesday, Nadal got off to a solid start at Wimbledon by defeating Francisco Cerúndolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Before the tournament began, tennis pundits were pinning Novak Djokovic as the top seed and many had Berrettini as the second seed. 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.

Roig discusses Nadal's level on grass

Former Spanish player Francisco Roig reckons Rafael Nadal's game is better suited to beat Novak Djokovic on grass than on hardcourt. Reflecting on his compatriot's win, Roig reflected on Nadal's win, saying: "After spending three years without playing on grass, he got ahead on the scoreboard without playing great tennis.

In the second set he played better, he did more damage with his ball. With the break up, the game got out of control, he lost the third, and in the fourth, it was complicated. But after three years without playing on grass, and in a first round, he's fine.

He had a few years in which he didn't play well on grass, but if he's doing well, there are fewer rivals who can beat him on grass than on hard courts", said Roig. “In that same way, I think he is closer to Djokovic on this surface than on fast.

(He's) difficult (to beat) on both (surfaces), but (despite) considering that he is the favourite (at Wimbledon), there are more chances to beat him here”.