Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka says Rafael Nadal “looked like normal Rafa” during their exhibition match at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic.
On Wednesday, Nadal handed Wawrinka a 6-2 6-3 loss at the Hurlingham Club in his first grass match of the year.
“I don’t know how he is feeling, it looks like normal Rafa,” Wawrinka said, per Eurosport. “He has been saying he is feeling better and if he is playing he is ready to play his best and to win. I think Rafa any time he enters a Grand Slam is going to be one of the favourites if not the favourite. He won the first two Slams of the year without too many matches before those grand Slams so he got a lot of confidence so of course he is part of the favourites.”
Wawrinka ousted in straight sets by Nadal
Wawrinka got off to a slow start to the match as Nadal led 3-0 after the opening three games of the match.
Wawrinka served out the fourth game to get on the board but continued to struggle on his serve as Nadal claimed his second break in the sixth game to open a 5-1 lead.
Down by two breaks, Wawrinka managed to get one break back in the seventh game and cut the deficit to 2-5.
Unfortunately for Wawrinka, he continued to struggle on his serve as Nadal clinched his third break in the seventh game and pretty easily won the first set.
After easily losing the first set, Wawrinka clinched three consecutive break points in the first game of the second set but failed to convert.
Wawrinka paid the price for not realizing his break point chances as Nadal broke him in the fourth game to open a 3-1 second set lead.
Wawrinka got the break back in the fifth game but continued to struggle on his serve as Nadal earned another break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.
After earning a break in the sixth game, Nadal held on to his serve the rest of the match to earn a straight-set victory.