Everything went smoothly for Rafael Nadal against Botic van de Zandschulp until it came time to close out their fourth-round match at Wimbledon 2022. (More Tennis News)
Serving for the win at 5-3 in the third set, Nadal was broken for the second time in the match and he then failed to convert three straight match points when leading 6-3 in the ensuing tiebreaker.
That was the end of the Dutchman’s resistance, though, as Nadal converted his fourth match point for a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (6) win on Centre Court.
The Spaniard is playing his first grass-court tournament since 2019, when he lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals.
He is looking for his third Wimbledon title and has a chance at a calendar-year Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open and French Open to take his career tally to a record 22 major titles. He will next face 11th-seeded Taylor Fritz, the only American man left in the draw.
Fritz made sure there will be an American man in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. After three of his countrymen lost in the fourth round, the 11th-seeded Fritz ended that streak by beating qualifier Jason Kubler 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios is back in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since making his debut in 2014 after improving his record in five-set matches at the All England Club to 6-0.
Kyrgios overcame an ailing shoulder and a fourth-set slump to beat 20-year-old American Brandon Nakashima 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2 on Centre Court. The Australian needed treatment on his right shoulder several times during the match and was broken two straight times in the fourth set.
But he raced out to a 5-1 lead in the fifth and converted his first match point with a forehand volley.
Despite the troublesome shoulder, Kyrgios finished with 35 aces. And there was little in terms of antics or arguments from the Australian, unlike his previous match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, when he repeatedly argued loudly with the chair umpire and was accused by his opponent of showing a lack of respect.
Kyrgios also needed five sets to get past Paul Jubb in the first round. He will next face another unseeded player, Cristian Garin of Chile, who came from two sets down to beat Alex de Minaur and reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
The unseeded Chilean trailed 5-3 in the first-to-10 fifth-set tiebreaker before winning six straight points to take a 9-5 lead. He then converted his second match point to advance 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (6) on No. 2 Court after 4 hours, 34 minutes.
He is the first Chilean man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Fernando Gonzalez in 2009.
The 19th-seeded De Minaur had never lost a set against Garin in three previous meetings and looked set to maintain that streak when he led 3-1 in the third-set tiebreaker. The Australian then held two match points at 5-4 in the fifth.
In the women’s singles, Amanda Anisimova ended Harmony Tan’s surprising run and reached the quarterfinals at the All England Club for the first time. Anisimova followed her upset victory over Coco Gauff by beating Tan 6-2, 6-3 on No. 1 Court. She will next face 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.
It’s the 20-year-old American’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the semis at the French Open in 2019, when she also beat Tan along the way. Anisimova lost in the first round of Wimbledon last year.
Tan was making her first Wimbledon appearance and ousted Serena Williams in three sets in the first round on Centre Court. Ajla Tomljanovic came from a set down to beat Alize Cornet and reach her second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal.
The Australian won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on No. 2 Court to set up a meeting with Elena Rybakina, and was in tears after a grueling match that lasted 2 hours, 35 minutes. The 32-year-old Cornet ended No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak in the previous round.
The French veteran was playing in her 62nd straight Grand Slam tournament — equaling the WTA record held by Ai Sugiyama — and 65th overall, but only reached her first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open this year.
Simona Halep is living up to her status as the only former Grand Slam champion left in this year’s women’s draw. The Romanian beat fourth-seeded Paula Badosa 6-1, 6-2 on Centre Court to return to the Wimbledon quarterfinals and extend her winning streak at the All England Club to 11 matches.
The 16th-seeded Halep won the title in 2019 but missed last year’s edition with an injury, while the 2020 tournament was canceled because of the pandemic. This was, however, Halep’s first win over a top-five ranked player on grass.
The former No. 1, who also won the French Open in 2018, has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament and consistently got the better of Badosa in the baseline rallies. She finished with only nine unforced errors and saved the only break point she faced.
Badosa’s loss means No. 3 Ons Jabeur is the only top-10 seed left in the women’s tournament. Elena Rybakina is into the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time after beating Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3 on No. 1 Court.
The 17th-seeded Rybakina broke in the final game of the first set and then again for a 4-2 lead in the second. She finished with 26 winners to 13 for her opponent.
Rybakina reached the French Open quarterfinals last year, when she made the fourth round at Wimbledon in her first appearance at the All England Club. Martic was playing Wimbledon for the 10th time but has never been past the fourth round. Rybakina will next play Ajla Tomljanovic.