Wimbledon: Improving Nadal flies past Van de Zandschulp into quarter-finals | Tennis News
The All England Club, where the Spaniard has won two of his 22 majors, is the least rewarding place for Nadal but he comes this year to win his first Australian and French Open titles. career first.
His third Wimbledon title and first since 2010 on manicured lawns and victory at the US Open will see Mallorcan claim the record – an achievement last achieved in 1969. by the great Australian Rod Laver.
“A very emotional moment” @RafaelNadal reflects as he shares Center Court with legends past and present # Wimbledon… https://t.co/i7W7gaJLu8
– Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) 1656965543000
He will face the American 11th seed Taylor Fritz for a spot in Friday’s semi-final.
“To be in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon after three years of not playing here, that’s great for me,” said Nadal. “Very, very happy.
“Overall, it was a good game against a difficult player. I think he is a very good player.”
Nadal played and won at Roland Garros by injecting pain medication before each match and only confirmed his attendance at the All England Club after radiofrequency treatment helped ease the pain in his foot. .
Playing his first tournament on grass since his semi-final loss in 2019 to Roger Federer, the Spaniard proved to have little difficulty adapting to the court.
“I thought (I) had to work very hard to be here,” he said. “(It) takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play this tournament after what I’ve been through in the last few months.
“But as everyone knows, Wimbledon is my favorite tournament. It’s been three years without playing here. I really want to come back. That’s what I’m doing. So that’s why why. Why am I in the quarterfinals?”
He feels his overall game is improving “day by day”.
“It’s always the same here. It’s not about whether I’m close to the level or not. I don’t know that. I can’t predict what will happen,” said Nadal.
“But the positive thing is that the first two games didn’t go well. Two days ago I played for the first time I thought at a high level. And today most of the game was, again, at a very positive level. .”
He dominated the proceedings from start to finish in his fourth round match with a slight wobble in the late game.
Nadal entered the clash on Monday winning the pair’s only previous meeting in the third round of Roland Garros this year in consecutive sets en route to his 14th French Open title.
Rafa advances to quarterfinals 💪 Spaniard wins straight set against Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4… https://t.co/mO4HsGTGql
– Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) 1656964894000
Face Van de Zandschulp a day after top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic beating another Dutchman at Tim van Rijthoven, Nadal had two break point opportunities in his opponent’s first serve but was unable to make them count.
With the Dutchman remaining in the opening set 4-5, Nadal forced the 26-year-old’s backhand error with a treacherous forehand corner for the crucial break.
After saving the first break point on his serve in the opening game of the second set, Nadal broke Van de Zandschulp’s serve to take the lead with two consecutive errors by the Dutchman.
A double error in the eighth game from Van de Zandschulp gave Nadal a double break and with it the second set.
A wild forehand saw Nadal suffer the first break early in the third inning. But the joy for the Dutchman and the crowd’s hopes of a lasting competition were short-lived as the left-hander immediately returned.
An incredible backhand pass over the stretch broke Nadal’s serve in game six and the Spaniard celebrated with some punches.
Serving the match 5-3, the 36-year-old was again broken when Van de Zandschulp was forced to equalize.
But Nadal found the edge, earning a crucial mini-break by winning a 30-shot rally – the longest of the match – that got the crowd to its feet.