Rafael Nadal reacts to crushing No. 21 seed for Wimbledon quarterfinal spot
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 4572
Rafael Nadal avoided drama in his Wimbledon last-16 match as he was able to close out Botic Van De Zandschulp in straight sets and progress into the quarterfinal. On Monday, Nadal saw off van de Zandschulp 6-4 6-2 7-6 (6) to set up a Taylor Fritz meeting at Wimbledon.
Nadal claimed the first break of the match in the 10th game, when van de Zandschulp was serving to stay in the first set. In the second set, Nadal broke van de Zandschulp twice and opened a two-set lead. Nadal failed to serve out for the match in the ninth game of the third set and missed out on three consecutive match points in the tie-break but earned his fourth match point at 7-6 and realized it to escape with a straight-set win.
Nadal: Amazing to be back to the Wimbledon quarterfinal
"I continued in a positive way," Nadal said after the win, per the ATP website. "I think, until the end [when] I played a bad game at 5-3, [it] had been a very positive match against a difficult opponent.
Botic has been improving unbelievably in the last year, so huge congratulations to him this amazing improvement. In a personal way, after all the things that happened the last couple of months, to be able to be in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon after three years without playing here [since 2019], it's amazing for me, so [I'm] very, very happy." Nadal plays next Fritz, who was the first player to beat him this year.
Nadal was 20-0 before Fritz handed him a 6-3 7-6 (5) loss in the Indian Wells Masters final. Nadal has a 1-1 head-to-head versus Fritz and he expects a tough match when he meets the American again. "He's playing well, he's having an amazing year, winning his first Masters 1000 — against me, by the way, in the final," Nadal said.
"It's going to be a tough match, but we are in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon so what can I expect?"