(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal has suffered a straight-sets defeat to Marin Cilic in his first Wimbledon warm-up match at the Aspall Tennis Classic at Hurlingham. The world No. 2 went down in straight sets to big-serving Croat in London.
Rafa, who turned 33 this month, has opted not to play any competitive tournaments on grass ahead of the Championships, practising instead at home on grass in Mallorca.
He lacked sharpness at the Hurlingham Club in London as a well-drilled Cilic sent him packing in less than an hour — a sweating Rafa going straight from court to a waiting black Rolls Royce and away minutes after his 6-3 6-3 defeat.
“This was the first time that I played points and that was too much for me today,” Rafa, who won a record-extending 12th French Open title earlier this month, said on court at the Aspall Tennis Classic alongside the Thames.
“I’m excited to be back at Wimbledon. This type of match today helps to try to be ready. Of course I decided not to play a tournament before Wimbledon, I’m 33 so I need to save energy.
“I will just try to improve a little bit every single day and on Friday I have will try to be a bit better.”
Rafa will practise at Wimbledon on Thursday before returning to Hurlingham for another match on Friday.