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Wimbledon PIX: Nadal, Kyrgios in quarters; Halep mauls Badosa

Last updated on: July 05, 2022 07:16 IST
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Images from Day 8 of Wimbledon 2022 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, on Monday.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his fourth round match against the Netherlands' Botic van de Zandschulp at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, on Monday.

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his fourth round match against Botic van de Zandschulp at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, on Monday. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Second seed Rafael Nadal took another step forward in his bid for a rare calendar-year Grand Slam on Monday by booking his spot in the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a commanding 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6) win against Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.

 

The All England Club, where the Spaniard has won two of his 22 majors, has been the least rewarding place for Nadal but he arrived this year having won the Australian and French Open titles back-to-back for the first time in his career.

A third Wimbledon title and first since 2010 on the manicured lawns and a US Open triumph would see the Mallorcan claim the calendar Slam -- a feat last achieved in 1969 by Australian great Rod Laver.

He will face American 11th seed Taylor Fritz for a place in Friday's semi-finals.

"To be in the quarter-finals here at Wimbledon after three years without playing here, it's amazing for me," said Nadal. "So very, very happy.

"It has been a good match in general terms against a difficult player. I think a very good player."

Nadal played and won at Roland Garros with pain-killing injections prior to each match and only confirmed his participation at the All England Club after radio frequency treatment eased pain in his foot.

Playing his first tournament on grass since his 2019 semi-final loss at Wimbledon to Roger Federer, the Spaniard has shown little difficulty adjusting to the surface.

"I did I think (make) a big effort to be here," he said. "(It) takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play this tournament after the things that I went through the last couple of months.

"But as everybody knows, Wimbledon is a tournament that I like so much. Have been three years without playing here. I really wanted to be back. That's what I am doing. So that's why it means a lot for me to be in the quarter-finals."

He felt his overall game was improving "day-by-day".

"It's always the same here. It's not about how close I am to the level or not. I don't know that. I can't predict what's going to happen," Nadal said.

"But the positive thing is the first two matches haven't been good. Then two days ago I played I think at a high level for the first time. And today most of the match, again, at a very positive level."

He dominated proceedings from start to finish in his fourth round outing with a little wobble at the end.

Rafael Nadal and Botic van de Zandschulp shake hands after the match.

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal and Botic van de Zandschulp shake hands after the match. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Nadal came into Monday's clash having won the pair's only previous meeting in the third round of this year's Roland Garros in straight sets on his way to a 14th French Open title.

Facing Van de Zandschulp a day after top seed and reigning champion Novak Djokovic beat another Dutchman in Tim van Rijthoven, Nadal had two break point chances in his opponent's first service game but could not make them count.

With the Dutchman serving to stay in the opening set at 4-5, Nadal forced an error from the 26-year-old's backhand with a vicious angled forehand for the crucial break.

After saving the first break point on his serve in the opening game of the second set, Nadal breached Van de Zandschulp's delivery in the next to take the lead early with two consecutive errors from the Dutchman.

A double fault in the eighth game from Van de Zandschulp gifted Nadal a double break and with it the second set.

A wild forehand saw Nadal suffer his first break at the start of the third. But the joy for the Dutchman and the crowd's hopes of an extended contest were short-lived as the left-hander immediately broke back.

An incredible backhand pass on the stretch brought up a break of serve for Nadal in the sixth game and the delighted Spaniard celebrated with a number of fist pumps.

Serving for the match at 5-3 the 36-year-old was broken again as Van de Zandschulp forced a tiebreak.

But Nadal found the edge, earning a crucial mini break by winning a 30-shot rally -- the longest in the match -- that got the crowd on their feet.

Calm Kyrgios beats Nakashima

IMAGE: Nick Kyrgios celebrates a point during his fourth round match against Brandon Nakashima. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

An angelic Nick Kyrgios reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final for seven years when he recovered from a slow start to beat steady American Brandon Nakashima in five sets on Wimbledon's Centre Court on Monday.

With Kyrgios's bad-tempered Court One victory over fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas still the talk of the town, the Australian was on his best behaviour in front of the Royal Box as he ground out a 4-6, 6-4 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2 win.

Unseeded Chilean Cristian Garin awaits in the last eight, offering Kyrgios a golden opportunity to surpass his quarter-final run at Wimbledon on his debut in 2014.

After the mayhem of Saturday, when Kyrgios was accused by Tsitsipas of being a bully, he let his tennis do the talking against the 20-year-old Nakashima, barely uttering a word in anger throughout a contest that contained few of the fireworks usually associated with the Australian.

IMAGE: American Brandon Nakashima hits a forehand. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

If anything the world number 40 looked subdued in the opening set and appeared to be bothered by a stiff shoulder.

Two forehand errors at 4-5 gifted Nakashima the opening set as Kyrgios looked in danger of an anti-climactic exit.

But he broke serve for 2-1 in the second set and, after having treatment on his shoulder, gradually cranked up the power to level the match.

Nakashima's focus was total as he kept his nose in front in the third set and he came within two points of taking the set when Kyrgios again served at 4-5.

This time Kyrgios served his way out of trouble and he turned on the style to race throughout the tiebreak.

Kyrgios suddenly went off the boil and he was broken twice in succession as Nakashima took it into a decider but he fired himself up to race away to victory.

Serving for the match, the 27-year-old recovered from 0-30 down and sealed the victory with a silky volley winner.

Halep mauls Badosa on Centre Court return to reach quarters

IMAGE: Simona Halep celebrates winning her fourth round match against Paula Badosa. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Former champion Simona Halep marked her return to Centre Court on Monday with a scintillating performance to thrash fourth-seeded Spaniard Paula Badosa 6-1 6-2 and reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Playing on the main showcourt at the grasscourt Grand Slam for the first time since sweeping aside Serena Williams in the 2019 final, the 16th-seeded Romanian put on another show for the crowd on Monday.

She smashed 17 winners, kept a tab on her errors and broke Badosa's serve five times to close out the victory in an hour.

"It was the place that I wanted to be today. I think I played a great match," Halep said. "It's always tough to play against her, she's a great player.

"Always nervous before, but I enjoyed a lot to be back on Centre Court, in front of this beautiful crowd, always supporting me. It's a pleasure to be back here."

Halep has been flying under the radar at the 2022 Championships but is now considered a serious title contender as the only former champion left in the draw and with none of the top 15 women's seeds remaining.

IMAGE: Simona Halep has yet to lose a set in the 2022 Championships. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

She has yet to lose a set in the 2022 Championships.

"I'm really pleased with the way I played this tournament so far. Day by day, it's getting better," said Halep, who missed last year's tournament with an injury, while Wimbledon was cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020.

"I'm just looking forward to playing the next one and to give my best again, as today."

Halep dropped only four games in the pair's only previous meeting in Madrid in April and their second match-up also turned out to be another forgettable outing for Badosa, who beat two-time former champion Petra Kvitova in her previous round.

Former world number one Halep, who won her first major at the 2018 French Open, lost just three points on her serve while breaking the Spaniard's delivery three times to win the opening set in 22 minutes.

Badosa saved three breakpoints to hold her serve in the fourth game of the second set but Halep showed great court coverage and consistency from behind the baseline to convert her next chance to close in on victory.

Halep broke her opponent's delivery once more and sealed the contest on her third matchpoint when Badosa sprayed a forehand wide for her 21st unforced error.

She will meet American Amanda Anisimova for a place in Thursday's semi-finals.

Anisimova ends Tan's dream run at Wimbledon

IMAGE: Amanda Anisimova is the last remaining American woman in the singles draw at Wimbledon. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Harmony Tan's fairytale Wimbledon debut came to an end when the Frenchwoman was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova in the fourth round on Monday.

World number 115 Tan, who stunned 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in a late-night epic on day two, backed up that win with two more impressive performances.

But her wily game was no match for 20th seed Anisimova whose powerful baseline game got the job done in 74 minutes.

Anisimova, the last remaining American woman in the singles, will take on 2019 champion Simona Halep next.

Tomljanovic downs Cornet in rollercoaster outing to reach quarters

IMAGE: Unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic is the first Australian woman in more than two decades to reach back-to-back Wimbledon quarter-finals. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Ajla Tomljanovic became the first Australian woman in more than two decades to reach back-to-back Wimbledon quarter-finals when she wore down Alize Cornet in an electrifying 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 contest on Monday.

The unseeded Australian had beaten Cornet in a topsy-turvy three-setter at last year's championships and Monday's encounter was no less eventful as both players kept being broken.

With Cornet leading 4-2 in the opening set, the players embarked on a sequence of six games that went against serve.

Although the 32-year-old Frenchwoman managed to win the first set during that run, it set a trend in a match which featured 16 breaks, with Tomljanovic coming out on top of that count 9-7.

None of them were as important as the final game, however.

After Cornet, who had ended world number one Iga Swiatek's remarkable 37-match winning streak in the previous round, saved Tomljanovic's first two match points, the players brought the Court Two crowd to their feet in a 26-shot rally.

It ended with Cornet's tired limbs failing her as she smashed the ball into the net and immediately collapsed on to her back -- hardly surprising considering the hard-hitting baseline contest had gone on for more than 2-1/2 hours.

Seconds later, Tomljanovic almost toppled over the net as she hit a crosscourt winner to seal her place in the last eight. Once she knew victory was hers, the tears running down her face summed up the emotions of the afternoon.

The 44th-ranked Tomljanovic will next face Kazakh 17th seed Elena Rybakina.

Fritz flies into quarters

IMAGE: American Taylor Fritz made it to the last eight at Wimbledon, matching the Grand Slam feat of his mother who, as Kathy May, reached three slam quarter-finals in the late 1970s. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Until Monday, Wimbledon's 11th seed Taylor Fritz was not even the best tennis player in his own family.

But with some hefty swipes of a garish coral-coloured racket on Court One, the American finally earned his family stripes by reaching the quarter-finals of the grasscourt Grand Slam.

His 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 win over qualifier Jason Kubler put him into the last eight at Wimbledon, and saw him match the Grand Slam feat of his mother who, as Kathy May, reached three slam quarter-finals in the late 1970s.

"My first Grand Slam quarter-final, that's really a big deal," the 24-year-old Fritz said before leaving court. "Part of the final eight and... I'm glad I could get the win on the Fourth of July, being American."

It was a muscular and domineering display from Fritz, champion on grass at Eastbourne coming into this tournament, and the outcome was never really in doubt from the start with the gulf in class only yawning wider as the match progressed.

IMAGE: It was a muscular and domineering display from Taylor Fritz, champion on grass at Eastbourne coming into this tournament. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Australian qualifier Kubler had already written another chapter of his remarkable success-in-the-face-of-adversity fairytale by reaching the second week. He has survived six knee operations to further his career but just ran out of steam and Wimbledon road.

Having beaten Kubler, the player known as "the right-handed Nadal", Fritz could next face the real deal, with Spain's second-seeded Rafael Nadal a possible last-eight opponent.

Nadal takes on Botic van de Zandschlup later on Day Eight.

Garin into quarter-finals after epic battle

IMAGE: Cristian Garin of Chile celebrates after winning his fourth round match against Alex de Minaur of Australia. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Chile's Cristian Garin showed amazing tenacity to come from two sets and 3-0 down and save two match points as he beat Australian Alex de Minaur in a hugely entertaining five-set slug fest on Monday to reach his first grand slam quarter-final

Garin eventually triumphed 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6(6) after four hours 34 minutes of superb tennis that brought a standing ovation from Wimbledon's packed Number Two Court.

The two men hammered at each other from start to finish with a crowd-pleasing sprinkling of classy drop shots and volleys in among the relentlessly accurate groundstrokes and lung-busting chases to reach them.

De Minaur, a supreme athlete who does not know the meaning of a lost cause, took the first two sets and led 3-0 in the third but Garin hit back, saved two match points at 4-5 in the fifth and then won the new "first to 10" final-set tiebreak to set up a last-eight meeting with Nick Kyrgios.

“I just gave everything I have, it was a very tough fight," said Garin. "I am exhausted. I just gave my best, I went to the net and tried to be aggressive with my serve as well -- I think that was the key.”

IMAGE: Cristian Garin saved two match points at 4-5 in the fifth and then won the new "first to 10" final-set tiebreak to advance to the quarter-finals. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Di Minaur had won all three of their previous meetings, including on the grass of Eastbourne last month, and looked in charge as he took the first set reasonably comfortably and, though forced to work harder, added the second.

Garin sank to his knees in despair after missing a golden opportunity to break for 5-4 in the third but regained his composure admirably to dominate the tiebreak.

Buoyed up, he broke in the opening game of the fourth set and off they went again, each man probing wide and deep in attack then working desperately hard in defence.

Garin seemed to have the momentum with two breaks and though he missed three break points on De Minaur’s serve he made sure on his own to set up a decider that had looked distinctly unlikely two hours earlier.

Garin broke to love in the first game of the fifth set, only for De Minaur to do the same before both men settled back into their more familiar routine.

Unsurprisingly, given his relentless court coverage, De Minaur initially appeared to tire in the fifth but he too found a second wind in a series of enthralling games where Garin had to work desperately hard to hold serve, no more so than when saving two match points at 4-5.

De Minaur responded in kind by saving two break points and, almost inevitably, the match went into a tiebreak. It was nip and tuck to 5-5 before Garin claimed four points in a row to set up the biggest win of his career.

"It’s so special," Garin said. “I’ve been working hard all my life to be in this position. Wimbledon is a dream for me -- I always said that it is my favourite tournament."

Rybakina powers past Martic into first Wimbledon quarters

IMAGE: Elena Rybakina, who switched to playing for Kazakhstan from Russia aged 19, hit 26 winners to advance to her maiden Wimbledon quarter-finals. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Kazakh 17th seed Elena Rybakina hit twice as many winners as unseeded opponent Petra Martic of Croatia on Monday to progress to her maiden Wimbledon quarter-final with a 7-5, 6-3 victory.

The 23-year-old Rybakina, who switched to playing for Kazakhstan from Russia aged 19, hit 26 winners in the opening contest on Court One while committing five fewer unforced errors than the 80th-ranked Martic to control the match.

Rybakina, who reached the fourth round of the grasscourt Grand Slam on her debut last year, will play either France's Alize Cornet or Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia for a place in Thursday's semi-finals.

"It means a lot to me (to be in the quarter-finals)," she said on court. "It's an amazing tournament and I was watching on TV when I was a kid so it's a dream to play on such courts. I'm just happy to go forward and we will see how it goes."

Rybakina, whose previous best result came at the French Open last year when she reached the last eight of the claycourt Grand Slam, started strongly on Monday to race to a 3-0 lead.

Martic rallied to reel in the next four games to put her nose ahead in the match only for the Kazakh to break back immediately to level things. Rybakina then got the crucial break in the 12th game to take the first set.

The second set stayed on serve till Rybakina cracked Martic's delivery in the sixth game and it proved enough for her to seal the win in an hour and 20 minutes.

"It wasn't easy at all and I want to say thank you to everyone who came to watch. The atmosphere is really amazing and I was playing for the first time on this court," Rybakina said.

"Of course I was nervous, but I started well and Petra started a bit slower and made some mistakes, then she raised her level a bit. I was trying to focus on every point and I'm very happy I managed to win that first set.

"I'm serving really well this week and hopefully I will continue to do so. It's a great advantage for me."

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