Two-time champion Rafael Nadal made a solid start to his Wimbledon campaign by overcoming Yuichi Sugita in straight sets in the first round on Tuesday.
Playing in his first tournament since last month’s French Open triumph, Rafa earned a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 triumph in two hours on the grass court at SW19.
Our champ made a slow start as 30-year-old Sugita broke his opening serve in the first game, with the world number 274 threatening to go 3-0 up before the Spaniard fought back from 0-40 to hold.
The sense of shock around Court One did not last much longer though, Rafa breaking back in the next game and taking control with four of the next five to clinch the opening set.
Sugita, who had only won one previous match at SW19, offered little resistance from that point as two-time champion Rafa raced through the second set and dominated the third, crucially breaking in the eighth game.
He will now face Nick Kyrgios on Thursday.
After the match, Rafa said:
I’m happy for the victory. This is the main thing. My first official match on grass in a year so it’s always difficult. At the beginning it was tough. There are lot of things to improve. I have one more day to keep practising.
On the fractious relationship between himself next opponent Nick Kyrgios: Being honest I’m too old for all this stuff. What I said I said. That’s all. I’m not a guy who will be in a fight with anybody. I will keep doing things I love. After tomorrow I will be back in this amazing place.
Do whether he misses the feeling of winning the Wimbledon title? I had success in a lot places since I last won at Wimbledon in 2010. I had problems with injuries which didn’t give a chance to play as well as i would like.
My knee has been better so I have been able to compete better. After you play a tough clay-court season… I’m 33 now so it’s not like 10 years ago when I could play at Queens [before Wimbledon].
Great that you won. Wish I could have seen the match. Wimbledon decided not to show it except on Tennis Plus which you need to buy the service. I pay for enough for the Tennis station each month and refuse to pay more. Wimbledon doesn’t seem to appreciate Nadal only Roger Federer. Nadal will show them who is Boss! He’s too much a gentleman to complain about schedule, court, ranking, or anything else. Wimbleton should have more respect for him. Vamos Rafa!!!!!!!!!!
GO RAFA GO!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART AND WILL BE WATCHING YOUR COURT MAGIC LIVE!!!!!:) IT WILL BE A GREAT FUN MATCH FOR YOU!!!!!:) VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!:) YOU ARE BLESSED KNOWING POINT BY POINT STYLE….NOTHING……NOTHING……..NOTHING IS IMPORTANT BUT YOUR NEXT PRECIOUS POINT!!!!!:) CI……..CI…..
.CI……..AND WI…WI…….WI…….YOU ARE BLESSED WITH
YOUR STRONG MIGHTY AND VERY POWERFUL PRECIOUS SKILLS AND KNOWING PASSION AND DRIVE LIKE NO OTHER!!!!!!:) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!:) LETS GO RAFA LETS GO!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU RAFA NADAL AND KNOW THIS WILL BE A BEAUTIFUL POINT BY NEXT POINT PRECIOUS MATCH FOR YOU!!!!!!!:) ENJOY EVERYTHING SWEETHEART AND WE WILL ENJOY EACH POINT YOU PLAY WITH YOU!!!!!!!:)KEEP SMILING SWEETHEART WITH YOUR GORGEOUS DIMPLES AND PRECIOUS SPANISH PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)
WE LOVE YOU!:) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
Will always back Rafa even if he faced a doubles team
Possible explanation for ESPN scheduling is that it is all about the ratings i.e. the bottom line. The fact is that Americans much prefer watching other Americans over anyone else regardless of their accomplishments or status. Roger is always the exception in every country. The matches featured are with players who have proven to attract the most eyeballs. There was an enlightening article on this very subject recently online which I’m sure can be found.
Yes, Bravo Nadal 😀 I prayed for him as always. 3 sets was good , like you say, 5 sets for NK was a test, we would have hoped for the other Australien 😕 Thiem, another threat less to Nadal. Pleased for Daniel Evans 😀 on his home ground , also Granollers Espana beat Italian Sonego 😀 quite an achievement as this Italian won his first atp 👑 in Antalya last Sunday. 👑😃 Fiona in Paris
Especially as Sugita was the one who knocked out Rosol in the qualis. 😄 Rafa must have been grateful to him for that. ☺ Fiona in Paris
Good start for Rafa. So happy for him. Keep it up champ. Vamos! One complaint about the TV coverage. Here in the U.S., ESPN barely covered his match. I understand with Fed and Serena both playing their respective matches on Center Court, coverage of them was important but it’s inexcusable that more coverage wasn’t devoted to Rafa’s 1st Round match. SMH
Yup, the so-called main coverage by ESPN (or Tennis Channel for that matter) is mainly a continuous ad for their pay to watch service. It’s like “here’s a sample of tennis, but if you really want to watch tennis instead of constant chatter fork over some more dough” In the meanwhile here’s yet another interview with Cori Vaugh, the latest America lost hope. Look quick cause she’ll be gone soon”.
Such disrespect to Rafa , first putting him at #3, Wimbledon disrespect. ESPN putting him on the plus channel, who has ESPN plus🤬.
Lisa, I agree with you.
Congratulations Rafa👏 😁Good luck and Vamos🍀❤️
Well don Rafa congratulations you can do it vamossssssssss all the way,your fans are with you all the way.💪🎾😘❤️🎾💪😘❤️🎾💪😘🎾💪😘❤️🎾💪😘❤️🎾💪😘❤️🎾💪😘❤️🎾💪😘❤️
For Rafa, it always takes a little time to get his feet wet… but at the end of the day this was a great match for our boy .. not too long, just 3 sets. (unlike Federer’s 4 sets and Kyrgios 5 sets) as he got more comfortable as time went on.. Never doubted this victory for a second. Great match for “points” …
The path got a little clearer today with Dominic Thiem losing his first round… Another youngblood bites the dust.
I love Rafa’s response regarding Nick… He’s not going to engage in this b.s.that the media keeps putting out
there. The best way for Rafa to respond regarding NIck is to beat him!! And beat him HE WILL!!!
Keep choppng wood Rafa …..one match at a time….
Good beginning over all for Rafa. The eleven aces were impressive considering his average is only about three per match. Federer’s next opponent will be Jay Clarke currently #169 in the world. We know who’s next for Nadal. Darren Cahill commented today that he believes Wimbledon will take heed of the criticisms this year and change the ranking system. I am expecting Rafa to win on Thursday but I will really not enjoy having to watch NK’s antics. Rafa will rise above the nonsense and he has my support all the way.
Nervy start, but it went well after that. Fingers crossed for Thursday!
ONE DOWN, SIX TO GO .
Congrats to Rafa on reaching round 2. I breathed a sigh of relief after the first set. I’m sure Rafa is off studying how to make it to round 3. Glad he is focused on important matters and has left all the nonsense behind him. Reporters should know better than to try to embroil him in a controversy not of his making.
Well done Rafa. Think the slip after your first serve unnerved you a bit but you soon got into your stride. Some excellent shots and a very good match. Best of luck on Thursday against Kyrgios. Love you very much. Big hug xxx
Congrats-first round, done and won. We know you will be ready for round 2-best of luck. Great responses to somewhat silly questions😀👏💪👍🤛🍀❤️
Oh Rafa I was worried at times but knew your mental toughness would succeed in the end. Well done and all the best for the next round!
Love your most avid fan
That’s a perfect response. I agree. Good luck with Kygros !!
Well done champ. Slow start but than it was a good start of the tournament.
Kyrgios will be tough but you can do it. Play aggressive and the win will be yours. Vamos Rafa <3