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London, June 28 (IANS) World No 4 Rafael Nadal didn’t have things all his way but he stepped up and survived a scare from Francisco Cerundolo to reach the Wimbledon 2022 second round for the 14th time, here on Tuesday.
Competing on grass for the first time since 2019, the Spaniard showcased his trademark fighting spirit to overcome a tricky test from Cerundolo, advancing 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 after three hours and 36 minutes.
In front of a packed crowd on Centre Court, Nadal survived a mid-match comeback from the Argentine, who was making his debut at The Championships. After winning the first two sets, the 36-year-old suddenly found himself a break down in the fourth set.
However, with the pressure on, Nadal raised his intensity and increased his depth on return to regain control and improve to 31-4 on the season.
The second seed is seeking a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title, having won the first two majors of the year for the first time in his career. He will face Ricardas Berankis in the second round after the Lithuanian defeated Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.