Tennis elite advances into Wimbledon third round

A trio of grand slam winners reached the third round of the Wimbledon Championships Thursday, with Rafael Nadal earning some quiet satisfaction after beating the man who stunned him on the grass two years ago.

Maria Sharapova of Russia. Photo by EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA
Maria Sharapova of Russia. Photo by EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

The second seed and two-time champion defeated Lukas Rosol 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-4, coming from a set and a break down and avoiding repeat embarrassment after his 2012 loss at this stage to the Czech.

Seven-time title winner Roger Federer, seeded fourth, beat Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 with three aces in the final game and 25 in total as the Centre Court roof was brought into play in the second set for the first time at this year.

The closing of the dome might become more familiar with more rain on the horizon for the next two days.

Australian Open champion and fifth seed Stan Wawrinka overcame a slight wobble in a defeat of Lu Yen-Hsun 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Wawrinka brushed off his losing third set, putting it down to a lapse. "I lost a little bit of focus on my serve," said the Swiss. "I was broken two times when I was up 40-15 and 40-0.  I was just a little down during the match. But generally I'm quite happy with the victory."

Nadal earned a key break-back in the second set against Rosol to turn the tide and eventually earn the win in two and three-quarter hours on his third match point.

"I tried to keep fighting after being down in the second set. I needed to find my moment and wait for it," Nadal said.

"I made a few mistakes in the first set but after that I played well. I got the break-back (second set) with a great return. If I had not managed I would have been in great danger of going two sets down."

Rosol produced 17 aces to 11 for Nadal, with the Spaniard overcoming 58 winners from his Czech opponent.

Nadal said that his 2012 loss did not enter his mind. "Every match is different, my goal here is not Rosol, it's to play well no matter whom I play," he said.

"I'm tired now, there was a lot of tension. I had good answers after big trouble in the first and second sets, but I finished the match playing great."

Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic reached the third round for the first time, beating Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 while ninth seeded John Isner won the longest Wimbledon men's singles tiebreak since 1973 over Finn Jarkko Nieminen 7-6 (19-17), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5.

Japanese tenth seed Kei Nishikori beat Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

Australian teenage wildcard Nick Kyrgios upset 13th seed Richard Gasquet 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8 after saving nine match points in four and a quarter hours and winning on his 21st ace.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the number 14 seed, finished off American Sam Querrey 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 14-12 in a match carried over from Wednesday.

Women's seeds progressed smoothly, led by five-time champion Serena Williams, who rolled Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-1.

French Open winner Maria Sharapova dispatched Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-1.

"We had a few close games, but I stepped up when I needed to. I needed to start this match quicker than the last one," said the Russian.

"I'm just happy I've settled in during the first two rounds. I lost here in the second round last year so I'm really motivated to win this title again," added the 2004 champion.

German ninth seed Angelique Kerber advanced over Briton Heather Watson 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 while Serb 11th seed Ana Ivanovic beat Zheng Jie 6-4, 6-0.

Canadian 13th seed Eugenie Bouchard, semi-finalist in both Melbourne and Paris this season, defeated Silvia Soler-Espinosa 7-5, 6-1. 

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