ATP Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal tops Yuichi Sugita to set Nick Kyrgios clash


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ATP Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal tops Yuichi Sugita to set Nick Kyrgios clash

World no. 2 and two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal is safely through to the second round, beating a qualifier Yuichi Sugita 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in two hours and one minute. It was Nadal's 49th triumph at Wimbledon, joining former champions Stefan Edberg and Goran Ivanisevic and chasing the 50th in the blockbuster second-round match against Nick Kyrgios who stunned him here five years ago.

The Spaniard fell in the very first point of the encounter and needed some time to recover and settle into the desired rhythm, dominating in the rest of the match to race towards the last 64. Firing 11 aces, Rafa lost serve only once from five chances offered to the Japanese, stealing almost half of the return points to grab six breaks from 15 opportunities and sail through the finish line.

The Spaniard had 26 winners and 24 unforced errors, leaving the rival on 18 direct points and more than 30 mistakes, crumbling him with a solid pace from the baseline to stay in front all the time. Sugita broke in that first game and took ten straight points for three more chances on the return in game three.

Facing an early setback, Rafa fended them off to stay within one break deficit that he erased in game four to level the score at 2-2. Nadal clinched another break in game eight following a loose backhand from Sugita, closing the opener with a nice hold for a 6-3 after 42 minutes.

Rafa was the only player on the court in set number two, serving well and delivering three breaks in games one, three and seven for a 6-1 to move closer to the finish line. Yuichi wasted a break point at the beginning of the third set, staying in touch until the eighth game when Rafa broke for a 5-3 lead, closing the encounter with a service winner in the next game to book the spot in round two.