Rafa Nadal loses patience with Lorenzo Sonego, then apologizes

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The accompanying shouts at Sonego’s shot annoyed Nadal in no small part.

On Wimbledon’s center court, there was no story between Rafa Nadal and Lorenzo Sonego: too strong was the Spanish champion for the talented young Italian, who succumbed in three sets, struggling for real only in the third set. Although in a match without argument, there was room for some friction between the two. “Blame,” in the Spaniard’s interpretation, for the late shouts Sonego would put in accompanying his every shot.

The ‘mischief’ would take place at 4-4 in the third set, when, just after losing his serve for the first time in the match, the left-hander from Manacor approached the net to reprimand the Italian, reminding him that such a manner of doing things would not be allowed. As chance would have it, when operations resumed after the altercation, Sonego – who had just technically re-entered the match having broken serve from the Spaniard – lost his next round of serve fairly quickly, only to finally concede 6-4 when Rafa went to serve for the match.

In hot interviews immediately after the match, Nadal seemed almost regretful of his behavior, which had already been partially clarified with the Piedmontese at the end-of-match handshake: “I feel a little guilty. I am very sorry in case I distracted him with my protests. I just wanted to tell him something. I felt like I did it in a nice way, but now I feel really bad if I annoyed him. Now I will go and talk to him again,” said the Iberian champion.

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