Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal cruises to date with Taylor Fritz

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Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal cruises to date with Taylor Fritz
Source: Firstpost.com

Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal advanced to his eighth Wimbledon quarter-final, where he will face Taylor Fritz, while 2019 champion Simona Halep returned to Centre Court with a vengeance.

Nadal beat Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp to win the French Open last month, and he repeated the feat at the All England Club with a 6-4 6-2 7-6 (8-6) victory.

The Spaniard’s victory over the Dutchman in two hours and 22 minutes brought the proceedings on Centre Court to a close two hours before the 11 pm curfew that threatened to put defending champion Novak Djokovic in limbo on Sunday and ensured the Spaniard stayed on track for the calendar year Grand Slam.

It sets up a rematch with Fritz, who defeated Nadal in the Indian Wells final in March while suffering from a stress fracture in a rib. To make it to SW19, he needed radio-wave treatment on a nerve in his left foot last month, but constant talk of his fitness is wearing on the 22-time major champion.

It sets up a rematch with Fritz, who defeated Nadal in the Indian Wells final in March while suffering from a stress fracture in a rib. To make it to SW19, he needed radio-wave treatment on a nerve in his left foot last month, but constant talk of his fitness is wearing on the 22-time major champion.

“It takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play in this tournament after what I’ve been through in the last few months.” But, as everyone knows, Wimbledon is my favourite tournament.

“I have been three years without playing here. I really wanted to be back. That’s what I am doing. So that’s why it means a lot for me to be in the quarter-finals.”

Fritz, the 11th seed from the United States, easily defeated Australia’s Jason Kubler 6-3 6-1 6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

“My first Grand Slam quarter-final, that’s really a big deal,” Fritz, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament, said.

“Part of the final eight and… I’m glad I could get the win on the Fourth of July, being American.”

After winning the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Eastbourne, Fritz won his eighth straight match on grass.

Halep crashes Badosa on her return to Centre Court to reach the quarterfinals

Simona Halep, playing on Centre Court for the first time since winning the title in 2019, advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-1 6-2 win over world No 4 Paula Badosa, extending her All England Club winning streak to 11 matches.

The Romanian smashed 17 winners, limited her errors, and broke Badosa’s serve five times to win in just under an hour.

“It was the place that I wanted to be today. I think I played a great match,” Halep said. “It’s always tough to play against her, she’s a great player.

“Always nervous before, but I enjoyed a lot to be back on Centre Court, in front of this beautiful crowd, always supporting me. It’s a pleasure to be back here.”

Because of Badosa’s shocking defeat, No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur is the only top-10 seed remaining in the women’s tournament.

Halep will face Amanda Anisimova, the last American woman standing, in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

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