Rafael Nadal described his battling win over Francisco Cerundolo at Wimbledon as 'an important test' after he survived a first round scare.
Nadal started the brighter player and the result looked like a formality when he went two sets up on the Argentinian.
However, Cerundolo fought back and at one stage looked to be getting on top of the 22-time Grand Slam winner.
In typical Nadal style, though, he found his best tennis at a crucial moment in the fourth set to turn being a break down to a 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win.
It was the first match that Rafael Nadal had won in three years at Wimbledon, and he has admitted it has become difficult to prepare for grass season.
“Even after 19 years it takes time to get used to grass and I have not set foot on grass for three years,” Nadal said.
“Every day is a test and today was an important one. It's obvious that when you play well at Roland Garros, there is not much time between.
"I used to remember these old beautiful days I was playing the final on Roland Garros and the next day I was practicing on Queen's. But my body is not allowing me to do this any more so I have to take a few days off after Roland Garros.
"Of course, everybody knows I had to do some things on my foot. But the most important thing is that I am at Wimbledon 2022 and I won my first match.
On the match itself, Rafael Nadal added: "First of all, all the credit to Fran. I think he started to play great and [was] a very tough opponent.
"It's obvious that for me it's been three years without being here, without playing on this amazing surface, so very happy to be back.
"For me, it's always amazing playing here on this court and I can't thank everyone enough for the support.
"I know at the beginning of the tournament especially, under the circumstances that I arrived here, the victory is the most important thing because that gives me the chance to practise tomorrow again and to have another match in two days. I'm happy for that, without a doubt."
Nadal will face Ricardas Berankis in round two on Thursday as he seeks his first Wimbledon title since 2010.
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