Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sharapova, Nadal cruise into second week of Wimbledon

Wimbledon 2011: Rafael Nadal beats Gilles Müller to reach fourth round

    Rafael Nadal
    Rafael Nadal overcomes the challenge of Gilles Muller at Wimbledon. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
    The Rafael Nadal juggernaut hurtled into Wimbledon's second week giving every indication that if Andy Murray is to triumph here the Spaniard will be waiting for him in the semi-finals. Gilles Müller of Luxembourg was the latest patsy in the world No1's quest to win consecutive titles on the green lawns of SW19, after injury prevented Nadal defending the crown in 2009 due to injury. The count was 7-6, 7-6, 6-0 against the 28-year-old who faded disappointingly in what had been a rain-interrupted contest. As it was Nadal was given a stretch, the Spaniard managing only three unforced errors yet taken into twin tie-breaks by Müller's refusal to have his serve broken before his spirit snapped when losing the second of those. Nadal struggled on occasion to negotiate Müller's ground strokes, with his double-fisted backhand working as smoothly as his forehand. Yet the sense was that as soon as the 25-year-old had the chance Nadal would squash his opponent as he did in the third set, closing it out in just 31 minutes after the opening two had taken an hour and 53 minutes. "It was a very difficult match to play, especially the first two sets. I had no chances to break him. I didn't have rhythm and in the tie-breaks it's like a lottery, but I'm very happy with how I served, put all my first serves in, returned well and I'm happy," said Nadal. "In the third set I certainly played very well. I had a bit of a problem with my leg but I played today without problems. I have a day and a half to recover for Monday." Nadal appears injury free as he now relaxes ahead of the business end of Wimbledon

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