Goal achieved, now I hope to be 100% at the start of Wimbledon

22-times Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal demonstrated his class after losing to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Giorgio Armani Classic Tennis Court, calling the Canadian a “brilliant player”. Auger-Aliassime defeated Nadal in Hurlingham on Friday 7-6 (6), 4-6, 10-3.

Nadal is now hoping to be fully fit for Wimbledon as he is set to compete at the All England Club for the first time since 2019. “The goal has been achieved. It was great to play a great player like Felix. Today he was a little younger than me but it was a few days positive.

I haven’t played on this deck for three years, so every day is an opportunity and an opportunity. I hope to be 100 per cent ready to start the tournament.”

Nadal got some excitement ahead of Wimbledon

As expected, Nadal did not play any ATP grass events prior to Wimbledon.

Instead, Nadal chose to play two exhibition matches at Hurlingham FC. On Wednesday, Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets. Nadal went 1-1 with Hurlingham but winning or losing wasn’t the most important thing for him this week.

For Nadal, it was about getting a few matches under his belt and feeling and touching him on the grass. “Honestly for me, it’s positive to play two games before the competition starts at Wimbledon. I’ve been playing at Queens for a long time now.

I’m much older now – I can’t play a lot of matches. For me, it’s better to play two games here before Wimbledon starts. It helps me feel at least some competition before Wimbledon,” Nadal said.

On Friday, Nadal learned that his first-round opponent for Wimbledon would be Francisco Cerondolo. Nadal and Novak Djokovic were not placed in the same part of the draw as they would likely have only met in the Wimbledon final.

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