ATP Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal hits first QF since 2011. Isner edges Tsitsipas


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ATP Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal hits first QF since 2011. Isner edges Tsitsipas

World number 1 and a two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has booked his place in the last eight for the first time since 2011 following a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory over Jiri Vesely in an hour and 53 minutes. The Spaniard has won 34 out of 36 matches in 2018 and he achieves another nice record, moving past Ivan Lendl for his 35th Grand Slam quarter-final, leaving the Czech on 34 and trailing only one to Andre Agassi.

This was the 241st win for Nadal at Majors and the 47th at Wimbledon, reaching the last eight at the All England Club without losing a set for the first time in his career. Nadal and Vesely have met only once before, in Hamburg 2015 when Nadal prevailed in two tight sets, and he had an easier job today, losing serve just once and keeping the pressure on his opponent.

Jiri was doing his best to stay in touch with the mighty opponent and become the seventh Czech player in the quarter-final of Wimbledon (Ivan Lendl, Jan Kodes, Tomas Berdych, Petr Korda, Tomas Smid and Radek Stepanek) but he couldn't match Nadal's pace, suffering five breaks of serve from eight chances he gave to Rafa and falling in straight sets to end his run in the last 16.

Nadal served at 68% and he kept everything under control in his games, dropping just 17 points behind the initial shot and mixing his game with powerful serves and deep and aggressive groundstrokes to control the rhythm in the rallies.

Everything worked fine for Rafa right from the start, dropping two points on serve in the opening set and scoring a break in game four to clinch it 6-3 after 30 minutes. Vesely couldn't do much on the return in set number two as well and Nadal broke him in games five and nine (Jiri won just one point in those two games) for another 6-3 result, moving closer to the finish line after just over an hour.

Jiri finally found his range in set number three, making two good holds and breaking Nadal's serve in game five to take the lead. Nonetheless, Rafa pulled it back immediately to level the score at 3-3 and he sealed the deal on his third match point in game 10, stealing Vesely' serve for the fifth time to secure his place in the last eight where he would play against Juan Martin del Potro or Gilles Simon. Fourth round results:

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