Third round at Wimbledon: the two have never faced each other in their careers. Lorenzo has not yet beaten a top-10 in the Grand Slams
When Lorenzo Sonego faces Rafael Nadal on the Wimbledon lawn for the third round match, he will think back – if only for a moment – to what happened last year. In 2021 the Turin player faced Roger Federer at the All England Club Central in the round of 16 and was defeated in three sets, remaining in the game only in the first (lost 7-5) before suffering the weight of the event. A baptism of fire, as it had been for Berrettini in 2019 with the heavy 6-1 6-2 6-2 suffered always against Roger and always in the round of 16. From there Matteo took off, who knows that Sonego will not be able to arrive more prepared for the big appointment now.
Why believe it
Take precisely what happened to Berrettini: a few months after the blow he suffered against Federer at Wimbledon, Matteo faced Nadal in the semifinal at the US Open and – despite the defeat in three sets – he left the field without the feeling of having taken part in a tennis lesson, net of the score. For Sonego it can be the same: because Lorenzo gave excellent answers in the first two rounds – wins against Kudla in five sets and Gaston in three -, because his tennis adapts well to grass (61.5% of career games won and two finals won, with the success in Antalya in 2019 and the defeat at Eastbourne last year) and because Nadal has not yet appeared in his best condition. Rafa won in four sets both against Cerundolo and against Berankis, he had to sweat and not a little in both games.
Against top 10
When it comes to games of this caliber in the Grand Slams, the question that arises is: will Sonego be able to win three sets in a single match against Nadal? Seen like this, it looks like a mountain to climb. The bookmakers are betting on Rafa, as expected, but Lorenzo is not given up for dead. For the Turin player it would be the first success against a top-10 in a Major and the fourth of his career considering all the tournaments, against 13 defeats: Sonego beat Djokovic in Vienna in 2020, then Thiem and Rublev last year in Rome, where the defeat in the semifinals came against Nole. For Lorenzo it will be the first challenge in his career against Nadal: the two have never faced each other.
1 July – 15:06
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