Wednesday 21 August 2019

Rafael Nadal makes winning start but 'super tough' Kyrgios test awaits

Rafael Nadal in action on day two of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Rafael Nadal in action on day two of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Andy Sims

Rafael Nadal's bid for a third Wimbledon title is up and running after a straightforward win over Yuichi Sugita - but he admits a "dangerous" Nick Kyrgios awaits in round two.

The Spaniard, seeded third, was broken in the first game of the match but ran out a comfortable 6-3 6-1 6-3 winner in a shade over two hours.

The victory set up a grudge match with Kyrgios, who criticised Nadal recently, in the second round on Thursday.

Nadal said: "My thoughts are very clear, no? I play against a top, talented player, a very dangerous player when he wants to play tennis.

"Normally against the best players, he wants to play tennis. When that happens, he's a very dangerous opponent.

"Of course, for the second round it's a super tough one. I know that. I need to be at my 100 per cent. I'm going to fight for it."

Nadal, branded 'super salty' by Kyrgios, peppered Sugita with 26 winners and launched down 11 aces.

The world number 274 from Japan barely laid a glove on his opponent following his early breakthrough and made 31 unforced errors.

Tougher assignments await, starting on Thursday, but Nadal was satisfied with a routine victory to begin his quest for a first All England Club title since 2010.

"It's been honestly a good start for me, winning in straight sets against a player that knows how to play on grass," he said.

"I have another day to keep working on the things that I need to work. I hope that's going to help me."

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