Nadal tri­umphs in three-hour epic with Kyr­gios

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Nate Wil­liams

LON­DON — Rafael Nadal en­dured a three­hour marathon to beat Nick Kyr­gios over four sets in a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3) vic­tory for a place in the third round at Wim­ble­don on Thurs­day.

The world No. 2, who has won the cham­pi­onship twice, has now claimed a mile­stone 50th win at the event.

“Vic­to­ries like this help be­cause I spent hours on court,” said Nadal af­ter com­plet­ing the three­hour and four-minute match.

“I played un­der pres­sure. I had to do lot of things well. I was able to find a way to be through. Now I have an­other tough op­po­nent in front.”

Nadal will come up against Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga in round three af­ter he beat Ri­car­das Ber­ankis 76 (7-4), 6-3, 6-3.

Kyr­gios has claimed a Wim­ble­don win over Nadal be­fore when he earned a mem­o­rable fourset vic­tory over the 12-time French Open win­ner as a 19-year-old in the 2014 edi­tion.

But this time, Nadal had the up­per hand as he se­cured an early break to go 2-0 up en route to the first set lead.

Kyr­gios grabbed the early ad­van­tage in the sec­ond with a fe­ro­cious fore­hand giv­ing him a 20 head start and treated the Cen­tre Court au­di­ence to his trade­mark un­der­arm serve be­fore ex­tend­ing his lead to 4-1.

There was drama when Kyr­gios, who has a ‘bad boy’ rep­u­ta­tion, be­gan ar­gu­ing with the um­pire and was given a con­duct vi­o­la­tion.

Kyr­gios said to the um­pire: “You think you’re so im­por­tant and you like the power up there, don’t you?”

“He was just ter­ri­ble,” said Kyr­gios when asked about the um­pire’s per­for­mance.

“I thought the way he han­dled the match was just bad. I just don’t think he was up to scratch to­day. That’s most def­i­nitely not why I lost.”

Nadal trimmed the lead to 4-3 with a break but the third seed lost the ad­van­tage with a net­ted re­turn, which al­lowed Kyr­gios to tie up the set.

In the third set tie-break, Nadal fired down an

ace for a 4-1 ad­van­tage and a wild Kyr­gios re­turn opened up three set points be­fore Nadal moved in front fol­low­ing a whipped fore­hand.

No break of serve could be found in the fourth set as the clock ticked over three hours go­ing into the fi­nal tie-break.

Kyr­gios fell 3-0 be­hind with er­rors and four more mis­takes from Kyr­gios fin­ished off a glad­i­a­to­rial contest as Nadal raised his arms in tri­umph af­ter Kyr­gios net­ted the fi­nal re­turn.

“There’s a lot of things I need to im­prove on to get to that level that Rafa brings,” said Kyr­gios.

“I left it all out there. I can’t be too dis­ap­pointed.”

Ear­lier, Roger Fed­erer ex­tended his record for third round ap­pear­ances at grand slam tour­na­ments af­ter he pre­vailed 6-1, 7-6 (6-3), 6-2 against Bri­tish wild­card Jay Clarke.

Fed­erer has now ap­peared 70 times in the third phase of a ma­jor tour­na­ment and his lat­est vic­tory means that the 37-year-old Swiss is three re­sults away from becoming the first man to claim 100 wins at Wim­ble­don.

Fed­erer will next play Lu­cas Pouille in the third round af­ter he downed com­pa­triot Gre­goire Bar­rere in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (70), 6-4.

Else­where in the men’s draw, more top seeds fell in­clud­ing last year’s semi-fi­nal­ist John Is­ner and 2017 fi­nal­ist Marin Cilic.

Amer­i­can ninth seed Is­ner was de­feated in five sets by Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-7 (37), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Cilic, the Croa­t­ian 13th seed, lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to Por­tu­gal’s Joao Sousa.

In the women’s draw, de­fend­ing cham­pion An­gelique Ker­ber is out af­ter the for­mer world No. 1 lost 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 to Amer­i­can Lau­ren Davis in an up­set vic­tory.

“I was not re­ally feel­ing good from the be­gin­ning,” said Ker­ber, who has won three grand slam ti­tles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.