Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal stays in the hunt for a 23rd Grand Slam after being tested by debutant Francisco Cerundolo

Rafael Nadal defeated Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in a match that lasted three hours and 33 minutes. With the win, the Spaniard clinched his 306th match victory at Grand Slams.

Rafael Nadal celebrates his first round win at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal celebrates his first round win at Wimbledon. (Courtesy: AP)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rafael Nadal defeated Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
  • Rafael Nadal clinched his 306th match victory at Grand Slam
  • Francisco Cerundolo made his debut at the 2022 Wimbledon

The two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal on Tuesday overcame debutant Francisco Cerundolo in the singles first-round match to stay in the hunt for a 23rd Grand Slam and a third major title this year.

Nadal defeated Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in a match that lasted three hours and 33 minutes. With the win, the Spaniard clinched his 306th match victory at Grand Slams and equalled Martina Navratilova in the fourth place on the all-time list of most singles wins.

The 36-year-old and number two seed had not played at the Championships since 2019, when he reached the semi-finals before falling to Roger Federer. He then withdrew from the 2021 Championships due to fatigue.

He also stayed away from warm-up tournaments heading into Wimbledon due to his chronic foot problem. Nadal dominated the match for most of the time until a series of unforced errors paved the way for the 23-year-old Cerundolo to enter into the picture.

Cerundolo from Argentina upped his game to take Nadal into the fourth set. The Spaniard, who won the Australian Open and French Open earlier this year, used all his experience to fight back and eventually secured victory.

Nadal is aiming to become the sixth man in history to win the first three Grand Slams of the season.

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