Wimbledon, Nadal rallied from a set and a break down to edge Lukas Rosol - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon, Nadal rallied from a set and a break down to edge Lukas Rosol

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIP – Rafa Nadal battled past his 2012 Wimbledon conqueror Lukas Rosol in four sets with 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-4 after fighting back from a set and a break down. They met for the third time in their careers. They tie 1-1 in their previous head-to-head matches but Rosol famously upset the twice Wimbledon champion in their second-round match at the All-England Club in 2012. Earlier this year Nadal beat Rosol in straight sets in Doha. Diego Sampaolo

Nadal won the first game to love when Rosol hit a shot into the net. Rosol drew level to 1-1 with a powerful forehand. The first set went on serve until the ninth game when Rosol was the first to break serve for 5-4. Rosol went up 0-30 on Nadal’s serve with a winner down the line. Nadal won a chalenge to avaoid facing three break points but a double fault at 15-30 handed Rosol two break points. Nadal saved them with a couple of forehands but he dropped serve on the third break point. Rosol went up a break 5-4 and served for the first set. Rosol was on fire and held serve to love for 6-4 to take a one-set lead.

Nadal was on the verge of another shock defeat againsr the World Number 65 when the Czech player broke serve to love in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead before consolidating the break in the next game for 4-2. Down a set and a break Nadal hit two aces to hold the game to 15 for 3-4. Rosol hit a shot down the line into the net to gift Nadal three vital break points. Nadal got the break with his return to draw level to 4-4 keeping his hopes alive. Nadal went up 40-0 but Rosol fought back with his return to 40-30 but the nine-time Roland Garros champion held serve to edge ahead 5-4 in the second set. Rosol who was close to serving for the set, was now serving to stay in it. Rosol held serve to draw level to 5-all  Nadal held serve to go up 6-5 but Rosol forced the second set to the tie-break. Nadal clinched a tight tie-break 8-6 to draw lvel on sets. Nadal got a mini-break at 3-all but Rosol hit a winner down the line before earning a set point with an ace. Nadal rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the second-set tie-break and hit a forehand down the line when he was serving at 5-6. Nadal clinched a hard-fought 57-minute second set when Rosol made a double fault.

Nadal won all three tie-breaks he played against Rosol during his career

“If I lost that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe I would be sitting here with a loss. But that’s the sport. That forehand was the perfect forehand for that moment. Even if I was losing, I was fighting for every ball. I was fighting mentally and physically. Every match is so difficult here. I played a bad game at 4-4 and I lost the first set. Until that moment, I was playing better than him but I didn’t have my chances on the return. It is a very important victory for me. I finished the match at a very high level. To be in the third round here after three years is very positive news for me.”, said Nadal.

“When I was a set down and I got broken in the second, I was not thinking about the match two years ago. I am thinking what I have to do to win the next point in that match. Today is another story. I needed to find the solution. Finally I did. That’s the most important thing. I played with fantastic energy during the final three sets. I was returning great in the last three sets. I was able to have more breaks. Rosol can be dangerous for everyone, if he plays well. The players who are able to serve and hit the ball that quick, with his forehand and his backhand, especially on this kind of surface, will be dangerous for everyone”.

The tie-break was crucial for this match. Rosol held serve  Nadal was on fire after winning the breaker but Rosol bounced back and managed to hold serve. Nadal held serve with his serve for 1-1 and earned two break points but Rosol managed to save them. Rosol had to fend off another break point but Nadal finally got the break to take the 2-1 lead when Rosol hit his forehand into the net. The World Number 2 consolidated the break to love. Rosol did not give up and won an important game to close the gap to 2-3. In the eighth game Nadal held serve with an ace to go up 5-3. Rosol cruised to a 40-0 in the ninth game with a drop volley at the net. Nadal fought back but he steered a shot from Rosol into the net. Nadal served for the set and held serve to love in the next game to go up 2-1 on sets.

Nadal broke serve to love in the first game of the fourth set and consolidated the break by winning the second game to love. Rosol hit a powerful ace to end a 10-point losing streak. Nadal won another game to love with a winner down the line. Rosol won the next game to stay alive for 2-3. Nadal took the sixth game to love to pull away to 4-2. Rosol held serve to 30 to claw his way back to 3-4. Nadal hit a forehand winner into the corner to take a 5-3 lead. Rosol served to stay in the match but he managed to win the ninth game for 5-4.

Nadal faced a serious challenge in the final game of the match when he had to save a break point but he managed to clinch the match at deuce after an ace and a wayward shot from Rosol on the third match point.

Nadal is looking to score the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double three times after winning both Grand Slam tournaments in 2008 and 2010. The only player who managed to win this double three times was Bjorn Borg in 1978, 1979 and 1980

Nadal will face Michail Kukushkin in the third round

Diego Sampaolo

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Simona Halep Provides Injury Update On Knee Ahead Of US Open

The return of Simona Halep looks a long way away from happening as a knee injury continues to bother the Romanian.

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Simona Halep has provided an update on her knee injury as she faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open.

The former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion’s comeback has not gone according to plan so far as she returned from a doping ban in Miami earlier this year.

However playing time has been limited for the Romanian as her second tournament of the year ended in a first round retirement at a Challenger event in Paris.

As a result of her retirement Halep was forced to miss Roland Garros and Wimbledon as she looked to recover from a knee injury.

The injury is more serious than meets the eye though as Halep provided an update on her knee injury and revealed it’s an injury that has been occurring for the last few months, “I wanted to provide a little health update since I have been away from the court lately. It is not the best news, but I wanted to share all the same,” Halep revealed on Instagram.

“For a few months now, I have been struggling with a knee injury. It’s an injury I have never had before and it has been a tough one to manage, with the pain persisting. It has been a very difficult period (almost two years) mentally and emotionally for me and struggling physically on top of that definitely doesn’t help.

“I have decided to take the time needed to recover properly, rather than training and playing through pain. My instinct has always been to try to come back as soon as possible, but I am not a machine, I am a human being and I need time to recover from everything I have gone through.

“I’ll keep you posted and, as always, want to thank you for your permanent support. I hope to be back on court very soon.”

Halep now faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open which starts on the 26th of August.

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Alexander Zverev Commits To Olympics, Speaks About Miscommunication Between Olympics And ATP

Alexander Zverev is preparing for his Olympic title defence.

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Alexander Zverev has spoken out on the miscommunication between the Olympics and the ATP tour with tennis’ top stars set to miss some big events on the tour.

The German is getting ready to defend his Olympic title that he won in Tokyo as Zverev heads to Paris.

After narrowly missing out on Roland Garros glory, Zverev now has an opportunity at redemption as he aims for a second consecutive gold medal at the Olympics.

However there is a dilemma for big players this year as the same week as the tennis event at the Olympics at the ATP 500 event in Washington.

This is an event that Zverev usually plays but will have to miss it due to playing in Paris.

Speaking out on the miscommunication, Zverev said it’s no secret that the ATP are not best friends on the Olympics but has committed to the historic event, “The ITF or the Olympics are not best friends with the ATP, that’s not a secret,” Zverev was quoted by Tennis Infinity as saying.

Everybody continues their own tour. Yes, the Olympics is one of the, if not the, most important events we have in sports. So, the best players in the world are always going to play the Olympics over anything else, over points and over prize money.

All the top players went to Wimbledon a few years back, despite having no points on the line. It’s about prestige, it’s not about points or money. It’s about winning these kinds of titles and having medals for your country.

That’s what it’s about. I would never choose to play a 500 event over the Olympics. There are no thoughts on that, and I think Washington is going to be quite an interesting 500 event, I would say.

The ATP 500 event in Washington will be headlined by Grigor Dimitrov, Ben Shelton, Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe as they are among those that have chosen ranking points over the Olympic experience.

As for Zverev he is continuing his Olympic preparations in Hamburg where he will face Pedro Martinez in the semi-finals.

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Rafael Nadal Reveals Delight At Setting Up Ajdukovic Semi-Final After Four Hour Victory

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the Bastad semi-finals after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

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(ubitennis/Francesca Micheli)

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the semi-finals in Bastad after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion prevailed in a marathon 6-7(2) 7-5 7-5 victory to reach his first semi-final since Wimbledon 2022.

The Spaniard converted ten of his 21 break point opportunities as he reached the semi-finals.

After the match Nadal revealed his delight at reaching the last four and prevailed Navone for his resilient display, “I lost for some moments my concentration, but I was able to hold physically until the end,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“That is so important for me. Let’s see how I am tomorrow, but today I am alive and in the semi-finals, so that’s very important. There were a lot of changing dynamics in every single set. For moments, he was in control. For moments, I was in control. But at the end, no one was in control! That’s true, and I had a good chance in the second with 3-0. Then I was very close to losing the match in the second set.

“In the third [I was ahead] again with 5-2, but he’s a great fighter and he played a great match. I wish him all the very best for the rest of the season.”

Nadal will now play Duje Ajdukovic in the semi-finals as he aims to continue his eight match winning streak in Bastad with this being his first appearance at the tournament since winning the title in 2005.

The other semi-final will be Nuno Borges against Thiago Agustin Tirante with both players reaching their maiden ATP tour semi-final.

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