Rafael Nadal Wimbledon 2022

‘It stays in the locker room’ – Rafael Nadal tight-lipped on details of ‘apology’ to Lorenzo Sonego at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal has apologised both personally and publicly to Lorenzo Sonego for a problem he seemed to have with the Italian late in their Wimbledon third round clash on Saturday.

The Spaniard played near flawlessly to defeat the world number 54 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. 

Though a tame match in comparison to the dramatic battle between Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas unfolding on No.1 Court, it was an encounter with its own share of irritation. 

After being broken to love for 4-4 in the third set, Nadal strolled to the net and called Sonego over to have a word. 

The disagreement seemed to have something to do with Sonego’s grunts, though Nadal did not completely clarify the situation afterwards. 

The pair spoke more during the handshake at the net, the details of which were again not revealed.

Nadal’s first question in press after the match was concerning the conversation at 4-4 as well as the one immediately following the match. 

He answered: “First of all, I have to say that I was wrong. I should not have called him to the net. So I apologise for that. My mistake, I recognise that.

“The stuff during the match, I don’t want to comment on it. I spoke with him in the locker room and it stays there. I apologised. 

“My intention was never to bother him at all. Just to tell one thing that was bothering me that I think he was doing in that moment, but that’s it.”

Beyond the net meeting at 4-4, Nadal broke back immediately before serving out the tie to advance to the second week of Wimbledon. 

He will face Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands next, a man he defeated in the third round of Roland Garros in May on the way to his 14th title there. 

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