Rafael Nadal makes comfortable work of Donald Young to reach Wimbledon third round - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal makes comfortable work of Donald Young to reach Wimbledon third round

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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.

Rafael Nadal hits a slice backhand at Wimbledon in London/Zimbio/Clive Brunskill

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.

 

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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