World no. 1 Rafael Nadal reached the second week of Wimbledon 2014 after rallying from behind in a fabulous manner to beat Mikhail Kukushkin, ranked 63rd. The contest was only equal in the opener which culminated in a tie-break. The unseeded Kazakh was both aggressive and accurate enough in the thirteenth game to force Rafa to drop his first set in their third meeting on the tour. The second seed Spaniard shifted a gear or two higher in the following set to produce the initial pair of break points before stealing the rival’s serve. The latter did not exist on the court thereafter as he was getting broken in series and gave the king of clay absolutely nothing to worry about throughout the rest of the encounter. Nadal capped off his confidence-boosting comeback with a precise cross-court forehand winner for a 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory under the closed roof of the Centre Court. He will now play wild card holder Nick Kyrgios – the 144th-ranked Australian teenager defeated another bright talent Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2.
“I’ve finished all the matches [this week] playing better than when I started; that’s very positive,” Nadal told BBC television. “I’m very happy to be in the second week again after two years of losing in the first and second round. I had good tactics today; I was fighting for every ball and looking for solutions.”
Fourth seed Roger Federer is yet to surrender a set at All England Club this year as he recorded another express victory to knock out 35th-ranked Santiago Giraldo. The 26-year-old Colombian suffered a loss of serve straight away in the opener and was unable to claw back by the end of the set. FedEx kept piling the pressure on the opponent and broke three times to bag the second set. He then rescued a couple of break points in the seventh game of the set three before stealing Giraldo’s serve some minutes later. The seven-time Wimbledon conqueror ultimately served out the match with a love hold to land the spot in the round of 16 by winning 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. His next challenger will be 23rd-seeded Tommy Robredo.
Eight-seeded Milos Raonic was also successful in the third round when meeting Poland’s Lukasz Kubot. The Canadian number one unleashed 30 aces (Kubot 15) and dropped only 3 points behind first serve to grab a pair of tie-breaks before strolling through the last set for a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 6-2 triumph.
The clash between Stanislas Wawrinka and Denis Istomin as well as John Isner’s encounter with Feliciano Lopez have been postponed due to rainy weather in London this Saturday.
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