Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal accused of ‘distracting’ tactics by his opponent at Wimbledon

Lorenzo Sonego has admitted he is unhappy with Rafael Nadal despite the Spaniard apologising over their Wimbledon spat.

There was a controversial moment in the third set of their third round clash on Saturday as Nadal called Sonego to the net to ask him to stop grunting on shots.

Sonego had just broken Nadal and was due to start his own service game, but he says Nadal’s actions ‘distracted’ him and he went on to lose his serve and the match.

“A player should not call his opponent on the net,” Sonego said afterwards. “You cannot do that at Wimbledon.

“Nadal should have just had a word with the umpire. He distracted me.”

In fairness, that was an assessment with which Rafael Nadal did not argue, and he quickly offered his apologies after the match.

Nadal, though, did not want to give many details about what exactly prompted the whole thing.

“Well, first of all, I have to say that I was wrong,” Nadal said. “I should not call him to the net.

“So apologize for that. My mistake in that. No problem. I recognize that.

“Then after that, all the stuff during the match that I don’t want to comment, because is something that I spoke with him in the locker room and it stays there.

“Only thing I can say is I saw him personally. I apologize for that. 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.”

🎾 Free >> Join our legendary newsletter

🎾 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

🎾 Social >> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube

🎾 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

🎾 Watch >> How to enjoy ATP/WTA/Slam tennis on TV

🎾 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.