Rafael Nadal has apologized for beating Wimbledon rivals Lorenzo Sonigo after a test exchange in the final stages of his third-round clash on Saturday. Second seed Nadal, who was champion in 2008 and 2010, reached the fourth round for the 10th time with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory. The 36-year-old needed back-to-back foursetters to make it to the third round, and was expected to be tested by Sonigo, who made it to the fourth round last year.
However, Nadal did not face a break point until he left the serve in the eighth game of the third set, his attention was probably affected by the closure of the center court roof.
He quickly stepped back and sealed the victory.
Nadal, however, appeared disturbed by the noise in the Italian court.
He even called Sonigo on the net to talk about his anger while the two shook hands and had another long exchange.
“I have to say I was wrong, I shouldn’t call him on the net, so I’m sorry for that. It’s my fault, no problem, I recognize him,” Nadal said.
“That’s what I talked to him about in the locker room and he lives there. All I can say is that I’ve seen him in person.
“My intention was never to upset him. The only thing that bothered me was that I thought he was doing it right now, but that’s it.
“We had some problems there, but that’s it.”
Nadal has already won the Australian Open and the French Open in 2022 and is halfway through the first men’s calendar Grand Slam since Rod Lever’s feat in 1969.
“It was definitely my best match during the championship, which I faced the toughest player,” Nadal said.
“I’ve been able to raise my level, I’m very happy about that.”
Nadal’s next fight for a place in the quarterfinals will be against Dutch 21st seed Boutique van de Zandshep.
Van de Zundschilp, 26, beat veteran Richard Gasquet of France 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1 for the first time at the All England Club to make it to the last 16. .
Nadal easily defeated the Dutchman in straight sets to win his 14th French Open title last month.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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