Nadal beaten at Hurlingham, Djokovic pulls out

Rafael Nadal lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in his second exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club; Novak Djokovic did not play on Friday as he pulled out and was replaced by Diego Schwartzman; Nadal and Djokovic are the top two seeds at Wimbledon, which starts on June 27

Last Updated: 24/06/22 9:06pm

Rafael Nadal in action at the Hurlingham Club
Rafael Nadal in action at the Hurlingham Club

Rafael Nadal continued his Wimbledon preparation at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic at the Hurlingham Club as he was beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The pair could meet at the quarter-final stage at SW19 and the Canadian struck a potential psychological blow with a 7-6 (6) 4-6 1-0 (10-3) win in London.

Nadal, 36, chose to play two exhibition matches at the Hurlingham Club and beat Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday in his first match on grass for three years.

The first set did not yield a single break point and Auger-Aliassime edged ahead on a tie-break.

Nadal responded well and earned the first break of the match in the fifth game of the second set to open a 3-2 lead.

He held serve to force a decider, but Auger-Aliassime won seven successive points from 1-1 to romp home in the match tie-break.

“We’re competitors we try to win whenever we can, even when practising for major tournaments,” said Auger-Aliassime.

“He [Nadal] is a great inspiration to me, it’s a pleasure and privilege to get to play him. I had a great week, so thank you and maybe see you next year.”

Novak Djokovic pulled out of his match against Alexei Popyrin and was replaced by Diego Schwartzman.

Djokovic, Nadal learn Wimbledon draws

Top seed Djokovic begins his quest for a seventh Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam title against South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo.

Second seed Nadal, who is set to make his first appearance at Wimbledon since 2019 and is halfway to a career Grand Slam, faces Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo in the first round.

Djokovic and Nadal can not face each other until the final.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams has the chance to ease into the tournament against world No 113 Harmony Tan while top seed Iga Swiatek opens her campaign against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett.

Andy Murray will be happy with his side of the draw having avoided some of the big names, though a potential second-round meeting against John Isner is on the cards.

Wimbledon is back! Join Sky Sports for all the coverage from the All England Club from Monday, June 27, with a daily live blog on our digital platforms plus extensive updates on Sky Sports News.

Source : Sky Sports