Lorenzo Sonego has explained why he was left unhappy with Rafael Nadal after their confrontation at the net during their clash at Wimbledon.
Sonego was not impressed by Nadal's conduct as the Spaniard called him to the net to request that he stop grunting on his shots during the third set of their third-round match on Saturday.
The Italian, who had broken Nadal and had a momentary advantage, proceeded to lose his own serve and then the match. He felt that Nadal distracted him with his unusual intervention during the flow of the encounter.
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The 27-year-old from Turin had a long and animated conversation with the 22-time Grand Slam champion after shaking hands at the net when the match ended and he has spoken about his feelings.
“A player should not call his opponent on the net,” Sonego said. “You cannot do that at Wimbledon.
“Nadal should have just had a word with the umpire. He distracted me."
Nadal, for his part, admitted that he should not have called his opponent to the net during the match and offered his apologies in the wake of the victory.
“Well, first of all, I have to say that I was wrong,” Nadal said. “I should not call him to the net.
“So apologise for that. My mistake in that. No problem. I recognise that.
“Then after that, all the stuff during the match that I don’t want to comment on because is something that I spoke with him in the locker room and it stays there.
“Only thing I can say is I saw him personally. I apologise for that. My intention was never to bother him at all. Just to tell one thing that was bothering me that I think he was doing in that moment, but that’s it.”
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When asked in his post-match press conference about the 'spicy' nature of the third set, Nadal said: "Sorry, not spicy at all. From the bottom of my heart, I didn’t mean it in a negative way.
"I feel very sorry if I bothered him. I just wanted to tell him something, but I did it in a nice way and now I feel very bad if I really bothered him so I feel very sorry for that.
"I was talking just now to him, and I’m going to talk to him [again]. It’s not a problem I think at all."
The reigning Australian Open and French Open champion, who is now eyeing a historic Calendar Slam, will next take on Botic van de Zandschulp in the fourth round on Monday.
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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