Rafael Nadal, Kevin Anderson march into Wimbledon quarter-finals

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal closed in on a dream Wimbledon final as the sport’s two greatest players swept into the last-eight on Monday.

tennis Updated: Jul 09, 2018 23:45 IST
Agencies
Agencies
London
Rafael Nadal,Kevin Anderson,Wimbledon quarter-finals
Rafael Nadal celebrates after beating Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in their Wimbledon fourth round encounter.(AFP)

Rafael Nadal cruised into his first Wimbledon quarter-final for seven years with a comfortable straight-sets demolition of Jiri Vesely.

The world number one started the second week with a domineering display on Centre Court, winning 6-3 6-3 6-4 on Monday.

Nadal has not dropped a set in his first four matches at the All England Club, where the 93-ranked Vesely had no answer to the brilliance of the 17-time grand slam champion.

Second seed Nadal lost a mere seven points on serve in the first two sets, struck 37 winners and barely put a foot wrong, comfortably sealing a last-eight meeting with Juan Martin Del Potro or Gilles Simon.

There was just the one break point in the opening set and it proved to be decisive, the unseeded Vesely gifting Nadal a 3-1 lead with a costly double fault.

The Spaniard, eyeing back-to-back major titles following his 11th French Open triumph, conceded only two points behind his serve in an opening set which he served out with ease.

Nadal maintained his typically aggressive approach and was leaping while punching the air after a blistering return whistled past Vesely to put him a break up at 3-2 in the second set.

A magnificent sliced backhand winner put the two-time Wimbledon champion a set away from the quarter-finals, but a rare unforced error from Nadal handed Vesely a first break.

Nadal broke straight back to level it up at 3-3 and brought the crowd to life with a tweener before unleashing a sublime forehand to raise the decibels once again.

The imperious Nadal got the job done in straight sets once again, Vesely drilling a backhand just wide to bow out.

Anderson beat Monfils

Kevin Anderson advanced to his first Wimbledon quarterfinal after edging Gael Monfils 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 5-7, 7-6 (4).

South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates winning the fourth round match against France's Gael Monfils. (REUTERS)

The eighth-seeded Anderson hit 20 aces on his way to setting up a last-eight meeting with defending champion Roger Federer.

Anderson, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the 2017 U.S. Open, had lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon on three previous occasions.

Both Anderson of South Africa and the 44th-ranked Monfils of France were bidding to reach the quarterfinals for the first time on their 10th appearance at the All England Club.

Nishikori advances

Kei Nishikori overcame elbow trouble in the opening set to win a marathon match 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(10) 6-1 against a limping Ernests Gulbis and reach his first Wimbledon quarter-final at the tenth attempt on Monday.

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Latvian qualifier Gulbis, a former world number 10 also looking for his first quarter-final at Wimbledon, gave as good as he got in a ding-dong battle over three sets before hurting his knee in the third-set tiebreak.

Japanese former world number four Nishikori, seeded 24th, was troubled by his right elbow during the first set which he lost after being broken in the fifth game.

Gulbis, who won the ace count 18-7, beat Nishikori with a chip at the net to give himself two set points and took it on the first.

First Published: Jul 09, 2018 23:45 IST