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Rafa Nadal Debuts The Wimbledon Central In Training With Berrettini

The organization changes the tradition of not allowing play on the main court until the Saturday before the tournament in order to settle the grass to prevent falls.

Rafa Nadal has had the honor of opening Wimbledon Center Court in a training set against Matteo Berretini. The Spaniard had the privilege after the organization decided that the tennis players could train in it the week before the start of the tournament to settle the grass. Although the Italian lost the set (6-4), Nadal continued adding minutes against one of the best rivals that can be had on this surface. Berrettini has accumulated nine consecutive wins on grass, coming from winning the Queen's and Stuttgart titles and holding a record of 31-3 since 2019 on this surface, in addition to having reached the Wimbledon final in 2021 and winning Queen's 2021 and Stuttgart 2019.

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The Wimbledon initiative responds to the interest that the surface is not as slippery as last year, when tennis players such as Serena Williams and Adrian Mannarino suffered serious injuries and there were many falls in the first rounds. Traditionally, the center court was inaugurated on the Saturday before the start of Wimbledon, with a friendly doubles match between members of the club, who were invited by lottery.


Afterwards, the defending champions of the title will open the tournament in the central. In this case, Novak Djokovic, who has won the last three editions. As Ashleigh Barty is not there, it is yet to be decided who will debut her in the girls' box.

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In the training set with Nadal, Berrettini scored the victory thanks to a break in favor with 3-3 on the scoreboard that he held until the end with his powerful serve.

It was the second exercise session of the day for the Spaniard, who previously trained on one of the tracks at Aorangi Park together with Francis Roig and Marc López. It was light training, ahead of Berrettini's match, and after beating Stan Wawrinka in the Hurlingham exhibition on Wednesday.

The Spaniard will play again this Friday against the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in Hurlingham, in what will be his last preparatory match before the start of Wimbledon. In addition, Nadal will play that match already knowing his first rival and his path in the tournament, since the draw will take place at 10 am in London this Friday.

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