Wimbledon: 'Not spicy at all' – Nadal 'very sorry' for confronting Sonego

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Rafael Nadal was quick to apologise for appearing to upset opponent Lorenzo Sonego when he called him in for a word late in a dominant Wimbledon win.

Nadal saw off Sonego in straight sets and was in complete control for much of the third-round match, only briefly losing his composure when the Centre Court roof was closed following a lengthy plea from the 27th seed.

When the contest resumed, Nadal – who had not faced a break point until that stage – was broken to love in a game in which he took issue with a noise Sonego made as he approached the ball.

Nadal appealed to the umpire for some form of discipline immediately after the point and then took the matter into his own hands following the game.

The Spaniard called over a bemused Sonego and seemed to admonish him, leaving the Italian clearly frustrated and engaging in a prolonged discussion with the umpire.

Nadal then broke back and quickly wrapped up a 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory, before the pair met again at the net.

The 22-time major champion first attempted to explain his actions to Sonego, then to the umpire and finally to the Centre Court crowd.

After a highly respectful first answer in his on-court interview – acknowledging his "best match" of the championships so far against "a great player", "the most difficult player I've faced" in this run – Nadal discussed the confrontation.

It was suggested the encounter had been "spicy", but Nadal interrupted: "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. I did it in a nice way, and I feel now really bad if I bothered him. I'm sorry for that.

"That's it. I was talking to him, and now I'm going to talk to him, but this was not a problem, I don't think, at all."

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