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Rafael Nadal through to quarter-finals at Wimbledon


Spain's Rafael Nadal and Netherlands' Botic van de Zandschulp shake hands after their fourth round match REUTERS/Paul Childs

Rafael Nadal continues to advance in the Wimbledon Open tennis tournament in a bid for the grand slam title.


Second seed Rafael Nadal booked his spot in the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a commanding 6-4 6-2 7-6(6) win against Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.


The All England Club, where the Spaniard has won two of his 22 majors, has been the least rewarding place for Nadal but he arrived this year having won the Australian and French Open titles back-to-back for the first time in his career.


A third Wimbledon title and first since 2010 on the manicured lawns and a U.S. Open triumph would see Nadal claim a rare calendar slam -- a feat last achieved in 1969 by Australian Rod Laver.


"To be in the quarter-finals here at Wimbledon after three years without playing here, it's amazing for me," said Nadal. "So very, very happy.


"It has been a good match in general terms against a difficult player. I think a very good player."


He will face American 11th seed Taylor Fritz for a place in Friday's semi-finals.


Nadal played and won at Roland Garros with pain-killing injections prior to each match and only confirmed his participation at the All England Club after radio frequency treatment eased pain in his foot.


Playing his first tournament on grass since his 2019 semi-final loss at Wimbledon to Roger Federer, the Spaniard has shown little difficulty adjusting to the surface.


"I did I think (make) a big effort to be here," he said. "(It) takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play this tournament after the things that I went through the last couple of months.


"But as everybody knows, Wimbledon is a tournament that I like so much. Have been three years without playing here. I really wanted to be back. That's what I am doing. So that's why it means a lot for me to be in the quarter-finals."


He dominated proceedings from start to finish in his fourth round outing with a little wobble at the end.


But Nadal found the edge, earning a crucial mini break by winning a 30-shot rally -- the longest in the match.




(Reuters)


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