Monday 25 September 2017

Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal looks set to join his main rivals Djokovic and Federer in third round

RAFAEL Nadal will look to join chief title rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the third round of Wimbledon when he takes on Czech Lukas Rosol on Centre Court this evening.

Nadal will hope to avoid the slow start that saw him lose the first four games against Thomaz Bellucci in round one, and it would be a major surprise were he to be overly troubled by world number 100 Rosol.

Yesterday Federer raced through with a show fit for royalty while Djokovic saw off the challenge of young American Ryan Harrison in a late-night encounter on Centre Court.

The 20-year-old is seen as a potential star of the future but, although he produced some spectacular shots, he lacked the consistency to really trouble Djokovic and the world number one came through 6-4 6-4 6-4.

The pair did not get on until late after a combination of rain and a lengthy women's match earlier in the day, and Djokovic wrapped up victory at 9.52pm.

"It was a great match but I was in trouble in the second set and it could have gone either way," said the Serb. "It is difficult to adjust under the roof, and Ryan was serving fantastically."

Harrison's big chance came in the sixth game of the second set when he had six break points, but he could not take any of them, while Djokovic was clinical.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall looked on from the Royal Box as Federer made light work of flamboyant Italian Fabio Fognini, notching a 6-1 6-3 6-2 victory.

The third seed, who is looking to equal Pete Sampras' tally of seven Wimbledon titles, has dropped only nine games in two matches and will next face French 29th seed Julien Benneteau, a four-set winner over America's Michael Russell today.

Federer said: "I was serving well. You're not going to get many chances throughout a set maybe against me when I'm serving well like that and able to vary with my serve."

Seventh seed David Ferrer beat Germany's Dustin Brown 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 6-4 in their delayed first-round tie while three-time finalist Andy Roddick overcame a determined challenge from British wild card Jamie Baker to win 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 7-5.

"I thought he played really well," said the American, seeded 30th this year but in form after winning Eastbourne last week. "The first set and the third set definitely could have gone either way."

Roddick and Ferrer both return to action today, against Bjorn Phau and Kenny De Schepper respectively, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro, Mardy Fish, Milos Raonic, Fernando Verdasco and Marin Cilic are all scheduled to play their second-round matches.

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