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Rafael Nadal Reignites Debate Over Ash Barty’s Wimbledon Court Placement

"I am the world No. 2 and I won 18 grand slams. I'm a little more than Ashleigh Barty"

Rafael Nadal has taken aim at Australian tennis star Ash Barty after she was only given the opportunity to play one of her four Wimbledon matches on Centre Court this year. Despite her world No. 1 status, many fans pointed out the French Open champion’s deviation to Court 2, the third-ranked court at the All England Club, for two rounds — including Monday’s loss to American Alison Riske.

Following Nadal’s victory of Joao Sousa on Centre Court, a journalist asked the Grand Slam champion if the more competitive women’s encounter featuring Barty might have been better on Centre Court. 

“I am the world No. 2 and I won 18 grand slams,” Nadal said, adding, “My answer is not no or yes.”

“My answer is they [organisers] 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, my feeling is today I am little bit more than Ashleigh Barty, even if Ashleigh Barty is the first player of the world and she already won in the French Open and she is playing unbelievable good.

ash barty

Nadal continued, “But we can’t create polemics every single day about decisions that they [organisers] have to take. At the end of the day they have to make a decision.

“A day like today, everybody is playing, of course Djokovic is not playing in the Centre Court. For me the first day I have been playing in the Court 1. I played in Suzanne Lenglen [French second court] in Roland Garros, if I’m not wrong, in the second round.

“Every day is a decision. We cannot create polemics about that. Court Two okay, they have to make decisions. Today they probably decided that. They have other girls playing on the Centre Court now.”

Barty, when asked about her placement, claimed she will play wherever she is scheduled. 

“Scheduling is out of my control,” she said. “I’ll play on any court I’m scheduled on.”

WATCH: Rafael Nadal On Why He, Not Barty, Got Centre Court. 

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