Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

17.59 8 Jul 2019


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Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafa Nadal says "we can't create polemics" over who plays on which court, after facing questions over his game being played on Centre Court, while top women's seed Ashleigh Barty lost to American Alison Riske on  Court No. 2.

The Spaniard, who is third seed overcame Joao Sousa earlier this afternoon in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, and will now take on Sam Querry of the United States after he beat compatriot Tennys Sandgren.

Following the win, he was questioned on who merited playing on Centre Court more, him or women's World No 1. Ashleigh Barty. He said, "I am the world number two, and I have won 18 Grand Slams.

"My answer is not 'no' or 'yes', my answer is they make a decision. You are putting Ashleigh Barty in front of me. For me, both decisions are good. In the world of tennis today, honestly, I am a little bit more than Ashleigh Barty, even if Ashleigh Barty is the first player in the world, and she already won in the French Open.

"She is playing unbelievably good.  We can create polemics every single day about decisions they have to take. But at the end of the day, they have to take a decision. A day like today, everybody is playing, of course, Djokovic is not playing on Centre Court. For me, the first day I had been playing in Court No. 1.

"Everyday is a decision. We can't create polemics over that. Court No. 2, okay they have to make a decision. Today probably they decided that, and now they have other girls playing on centre court."

So far this year at SW19, Nadal has knocked out Yuichi Sugita, Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The 33-year-old claimed his 18th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last month, defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem in four sets.


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