Nadal enters last 16 for 10th time
July 03 2022 12:17 AM
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Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego on the si
Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego on the sixth day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships in southwest London yesterday. (Reuters)

AFP/ London

• Australia’S Nick Kyrgios wins bad-tempered clash WITH Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas


Rafael Nadal reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the 10th time yesterday with a straight sets victory over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in a match which saw a brief, testy exchange between the two men.
Second seed Nadal, the champion in 2008 and 2010, swept to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win. The 36-year-old had required back-to-back four-setters to make the third round and was expected to be tested by Sonego, who made the fourth round last year.
However, Nadal did not face a break point until he dropped serve in the eighth game of the third set, his focus possibly affected by a stoppage to close the Centre Court roof.
He quickly broke back and sealed the victory. Nadal, however, appeared upset by the noise the Italian was making on court.
He even summoned Sonego to the net to discuss his displeasure while the two then had another lengthy exchange as they shook hands.
“I didn’t make it in a negative way. I feel sorry if I bothered him but I did it in a right way,” said Spaniard Nadal.
“I feel really bad now if I bothered him so I feel sorry for that. That’s it – I will talk to him after but this is not a problem.”
Nadal has already won the Australian Open and French Open in 2022 and is halfway to the first men’s calendar Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969.
“This was probably my best match here without a doubt during the championships, against the most difficult player I faced,” Nadal said.
“I have been able to raise my level, super happy for that,” he said.
Nadal will next face Dutch 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp for a place in the quarter-finals.
The 26-year-old Van de Zandschulp made the last 16 at the All England Club for the first time with a 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1 win over French veteran Richard Gasquet.
Nadal comfortably defeated the Dutch player in straight sets on his way to a 14th French Open title last month.
Nick Kyrgios came from behind to win a stormy encounter against Stefanos Tsitsipas at Wimbledon yesterday after calling for his opponent to be kicked out for hitting a ball into the crowd.
The mercurial Australian prevailed 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) in a third-round match during which both players were warned by the umpire.
Earlier in the day Alex De Minaur proved rock solid as he ended British wildcard Liam Broady’s Wimbledon run in the third round yesterday, winning 6-3 6-4 7-5 to reach the last 16 for the first time.
For the second match in succession, the 23-year-old was up against a British left-hander, and as against Jack Draper the 19th seed gave a masterclass of precision hitting.
Broady, playing in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time after knocking out seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman in five sets, threw everything in his arsenal at De Minaur.
But finding a way past one of the quickest players in men’s tennis was exhausting with De Minaur picking up balls that he had no right to get back.
De Minaur, whose British girlfriend Katie Boulter had earlier lost her third-round match, dominated the first set, striking 12 winners to Broady’s one as he subdued the Court One crowd, most of whom were cheering the home favourite.
World number 132 Broady played more aggressively after that but dropped serve at 2-2 and De Minaur grabbed a two-set lead.
To his credit, Broady refused to go quietly and cupped his ear to the crowd after winning one point, and they responded to try to roar him back into contention.
De Minaur served for the match at 5-4 in the third but Broady broke for the first time as the Australian wavered for the first time in an increasingly nerve-jangling contest.
De Minaur hit straight back to take the Broady serve and again Broady fought tooth and nail to stay alive, engineering three break points to force a tiebreak.
He could not convert those but Broady saved three match points before a relieved De Minaur secured victory at the fourth attempt with a first serve.
He will face Chile’s Cristian Garin next as he looks to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final.
Having not had anyone in the last 16 of the men’s singles at Wimbledon since 2016, Australia have two this year after De Minaur joined Jason Kubler who beat Jack Sock.
Results
Men 3rd rd
Christian Garín (CHI) bt Jenson Brooksby (USA x29) 6-2, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, Alex De Minaur (AUS x19) bt Liam Broady (GBR) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, Brandon Nakashima (USA) bt Daniel Galan (COL) 6-4, 6-4, 6-1, Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x4) 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7), Jason Kubler (AUS) bt Jack Sock (USA) 6-2, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, Taylor Fritz (USA x11) bt Alex Molcan (SVK) 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3), Botic van de Zandschulp (NED x21) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1, Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA x27) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.


Australia’s Nick Kyrgios celebrates winning his third round match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas yesterday. (Reuters)

 



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