Fourth seed and two-time former champion Rafael Nadal kept up his strong Wimbledon showing so far, moving past American lefty Donald Young 6-4 6-2, 7-5 into the third round at the All England Club.
15-time Grand Slam champion and world number two Rafael Nadal powered past American left-hander Donald Young 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2014. The two-time former champion kept up his strong form so far at SW19, blasting an impressive 37 winners to only 16 unforced errors in a solid two hours and 11 minutes.
“It was a good match again. Almost all the time more or less under control.” Nadal evaluated about his performance.
“I think I played a solid match. Serving well. It’s true that in the third I served a little bit worse. But in general terms, I am happy. I played well.” He later added.
In the opener, the tone was set early by Nadal as the fourth-seeded Spaniard took an immediate break of the Young serve on his first time of asking before backing that up with a comfortable hold to race out to an early lead as the American’s forehand let him down. The pair took care of their serves in routine fashion for the next six games as the scoreline moved to 5-3 with Young looking to serve to stay in the set. The world number 43 managed to hang onto his serve to force the two-time champion to serve out the first set, something Nadal did with ease as he held to love to close out the opening set 6-4 off another Young error.
The second set began with a case of deja vu for the unseeded American lefty as Nadal broke in the opening game of the second set just like in the first, taking the advantage on his first time of asking to go up 2-0 after consolidating the lead. Nadal and Young shared holds of serve the following two games before a determined world number two was able to once again push Young on his serve, eventually breaking through on his fifth time of asking to seize the double break for a 4-1 lead.
The 15-time major winner continued to steam ahead as he held with ease again, forcing the American to serve to stay in the second set. Young was able to force the two-time champion to serve for a two-sets-to-love lead but Nadal made no mistake with his opportunity, withstanding two impressive volley winners from Young on set point to save a break point and convert his third set point to take the second set 6-2 and move one set from the third round at SW19.
The first six games of the third set featured both players untroubled on their serves, as neither faced a break point to bring the score to 3-all. Multiple errors the following game from Young gifted the Spaniard the break for 4-3 before the two-time champion backed that up with an easy hold to love punctuated by a big ace to go up 5-3. Looking to serve to stay in the match, some confident play from Young helped him to edge his way to a hold and force the fourth seed to serve out the second round win. A poor service game as he looked to close out the match from Nadal gifted the break to Young as on only his third break point of the match, a lucky net cord went the American’s way to level the set at 5-all.
Despite being broken as he attempted to serve for the match the prior game, the two-time champion bounced right back, punishing the Young serve to take a routine break off a big forehand winner and give himself another chance to serve out a spot in the third round. This time around though Nadal made no mistake of his opportunity, serving out the match to love to win 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 and move onto the third round at Wimbledon.
Khachanov test awaits
Embarking upon the third round at SW19 for the eighth time in her career, Nadal’s next test will be Russia’s Karen Khachanov. The Spaniard is fully aware of the threat he faces. The two have previously practice together on multiple occasions with Nadal describing the 21-year-old as ‘a great player in all aspects.’
Nadal respect for his younger opponent is one of the reasons why he refuses to get ahead of himself in the draw. Despite recently winning his tenth French Open title, the grass has been a surface that has brought mixed feeling for Nadal over the years.
“I don’t know how deep I can go on the draw or not, but I really don’t think about that now.” He explained.
“The only thing is today I won another match here in Wimbledon. That mean a lot to me. I’m happy tomorrow I have a practice day, and then after tomorrow again another match.”
If everything goes according to the seedings at Wimbledon, Nadal will play Andy Murray in the semifinals. The winner of that match would become world No.1.
Doubles Player Dream French Open Debut Ended By Instagram Message
Portugal’s Francisco Cabral said he found out he will not be playing in Paris through social media.
Playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam is the pinnacle of many players’ careers but one player missed out on that opportunity due to an unfortunate situation.
Portugal’s Francisco Cabral was set to play in the men’s doubles tournament for the first time at this week’s French Open. The world No.72 is currently at a career-high after winning his maiden Tour title in Estoril last month with compatriot Nuno Borges. In Paris, he entered into the draw alongside Denmark’s Holger Rune.
However, shortly before he was set to make his Grand Slam debut Rune pulled out at the last minute. Leaving Cabral unable to look for another partner in such a short time. Rune’s withdrawal from the doubles was based on medical advice after he hurt his ankle during his second round clash against Henri Laaksonen. The Dane tripped over the court cover at the back of the court but fortunately wasn’t seriously injured and managed to continue playing.
“Right now I feel a huge sadness because it’s a dream to play in a Grand Slam tournament. I’ve been here since Saturday training, waiting, watching games, experiencing a new world because it was my first Grand Slam and it’s another dimension and I was really, really looking forward to being able to play,” Cabral told Raquetc. “And having waited until 15 minutes before game time to know that I wasn’t going to play after all, it cost me a lot, but I did everything I could.”
Caral went on to criticize the behavior of Rune who informed him that he would not be playing in the doubles event via a message sent on Instagram. It is unclear why the two never spoke face-to-face.
“He only told me that he had sprained his foot, that he was at the doctor’s, and that he had told him not to play the doubles. I’m sad about his attitude because he didn’t even say this to my face, he just sent me a message on Instagram. I don’t think it went well, but as I said, I couldn’t have done anything differently, so I’ll just wait for the next opportunity.” He said.
25-year-old Cabral is targeting Wimbledon as the event where he will play his first main draw match.
Meanwhile, Rune will continue his singles campaign at Roland Garros on Saturday when he plays Hugo Gaston in the third round. The former world No.1 junior has shot up the rankings this season to a high of 40th.
Cabral and Rune has been replaced in the draw by Sander Arends and Szymon Walków.
French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur
The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.
Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.
The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.
During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.
“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”
De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.
“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“
Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.
Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.
“Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”
As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.
Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal
The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.
By Kingsley Elliot Kaye
In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.
Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.
“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.
Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.
“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.
Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.
He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.
Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”
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