Rafael Nadal apologises to Lorenzo Sonego after heated exchange on Centre Court

Rafael Nadal apologised to opponent Lorenzo Sonego after a heated discussion at the net following the Spaniard’s three-set Centre Court win.

The two-time Wimbledon champion was breezing into the fourth round until Sonego successfully managed to get the roof closed while he trailed 4-2 in the third set.

The Italian then broke the 22-time grand slam winner to love under the lights, but a fired-up Nadal hit straight back before serving the match out to keep his calendar year grand slam bid on track.

Rafael Nadal recorded another win at Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal recorded another win at Wimbledon (John Walton/PA)

Nadal had earlier been irritated by a noise Sonego made during a rally.

After his 6-1 6-2 6-4 win, Nadal said: “Well, first of all, I have to say that I was wrong. Probably I should not call him on the net. So apologise for that. My mistake in that. No problem. I recognise that.

“Then after that, all the stuff during the match that I don’t want to comment (on), 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 apologise 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 code between players. Yeah, we had some issues there. But that’s it.”

Nadal will play Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the fourth round after he overcame Richard Gasquet, who led 5-3 but failed to take any of his five set points on his serve in the ninth game of the first set and fell to a 7-5 2-6 7-6 (7) 6-1 defeat.

Australian Jason Kubler beat American Jack Sock in a five-set, four-and-a-quarter hour marathon.