Rafael Nadal kills curse of 100 club to advance to Wimbledon second round
Rafael Nadal moved into the second round of Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win over Dudi Sela of Israel on Tuesday.tennis Updated: Jul 03, 2018 22:11 IST
World number one Rafael Nadal breezed into the Wimbledon second round Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win over Israel’s Dudi Sela as the Spaniard returned to action for the first time since claiming his 11th French Open title.
Nadal, the Wimbledon champion in 2008 and 2010, also managed to avoid falling victim to a player ranked outside the world top 100 for what would have been the fifth time in his last six visits to the All England Club.
“It’s great always to play here in Wimbledon, especially on Centre Court,” said Nadal after seeing off world number 127 Sela.
“I’m just happy to be through of course and yes, this match gives me positive feelings. There’s still room to improve but after a while without playing on grass, of course it’s very important to start with a straight sets victory.”
Nadal, the 17-time major winner, has not got past the fourth round since finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2011.
Eugenie Bouchard, the runner-up in 2014 before her career went into a tailspin, reached the second round with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 victory over British wild card Gabriella Taylor.
Bouchard, now ranked 188 in the world, will face fellow former Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty for a spot in the last 32.
Belgium’s David Goffin, the 10th seed, slumped to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 loss to Australia’s Matthew Ebden, playing the tournament for the first time in three years.
Elsewhere, Angelique Kerber, a former US Open and Australian Open champion, saw off fellow former Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-3
Ex-world number two Zvonareva, one of a number of tennis mums at the tournament and now ranked 142, came through qualifying to make the main draw for the first time since 2014.
First Published: Jul 03, 2018 22:11 IST