Rafael Nadal admits he was “wrong” and has apologised to Lorenzo Sonego after tempers flared in their third-round match at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard, who prevailed on Centre Court 6-1, 6-2, 7-6, took issue with the Italian at 4-4 in the third set, meeting at the net to voice his anger.
Nadal, who refuted claims of a “spicy” nature to the match, appeared to be irritated as Sonego grunted during points, while the 27th seed whipped up a feverish crowd after a late rally in the third set.
Nadal initiated a lengthy debate both at 4-4 in the third and then again after winning the match, but the 22-time Grand Slam champion admitted his mistake and revealed the pair thrashed out their disagreement in the lockerroom afterwards.
“Well, first of all, I have to say that I was wrong,” Nadal said. “Probably I will not — I should not call him on the net. So apologize for that. My mistake in that. No problem. I recognize that.
“Then after that, all the stuff during the match that I don’t want to comment, 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 apologize 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.
“I think there is some codes between players. Yeah, we had some issues there. But that’s it.”