Returning to the All England Club after three years, Rafael Nadal did not have it easy in his first match at the Wimbledon since suffering a semi-final exit against Roger Federer in 2019. But the Spaniard overcame the scare, fighting back after dropping the third set and falling a break down in the fourth to eventually beat Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo. And with the win on Centre Court on Tuesday, Nadal equalled not one, but two sensational Grand Slam records.
It was a comfortable two-set lead for Nadal but 41st-ranked Cerundolo, who was making his Wimbledon debut on Tuesday, looked to beat the Spaniard in his own game to grab the third set and then take an early 3-1 lead in the fourth. But Nadal found his rhythm once again as he beat Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the second round in Wimbledon for the 15th time in his career.
With the win, Nadal now stands joint fourth in the list of most Grand Slam match wins in his career. His tally of 306 stands tied with tennis legend Martina Navratilova as the two stand behind Roger Federer (369), Serena Williams (365) and Novak Djokovic (328).
Nadal also became the fifth male tennis player to win his first 15 Grand Slam matches in a single season in the Open Era after Rod Laver (1969), Mats Wilander (1988), Jim Courier (1992), and Djokovic (2016 and 2021).
Nadal's run of 15 Slam matches wins includes title victories in the Australian Open and French Open. This is the first time in his career he has won the first two majors in a calendar year and now bids for the Calendar Slam. Nadal is also a two-time winner at the All England Club having won in 2008 and 2010.