London: Rafael Nadal was one point away from falling behind by two sets before rallying Thursday to beat Lukas Rosol, the Czech player who knocked him out at Wimbledon in the same round and on the same court two years ago.
The top-ranked Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion, raised his game just in time to avoid falling into a deep hole, rallying for a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-4 victory on Centre Court to advance to the third round.
The hard-hitting, 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Rosol had a chance to go up two sets to love when he had a set point at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreaker. But Nadal saved it with a forehand winner and Rosol double-faulted two points later to give the Spaniard the set.
As Nadal hopped and pumped his fist, his coach and uncle, Toni, jumped out of his seat in the guest box, shouted “Vamos” and also celebrated with a display of fist pumps.That turnaround gave Nadal the momentum and he dominated play the rest of the way.
“I just wanted to keep fighting and wait for my moment,” Nadal said.
Nadal broke for the first time to go up 2-1 in the third set, and closed out the set by holding serve and love and finishing with an ace. At one stage at the end of the third set and beginning of the fourth, Nadal ran off 14 points in a row.While Nadal was made to work, five-time women’s champion Serena Williams wasted no time in reaching the third round, routing Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-1 in just 49 minutes.Chasing her 18th Grand Slam title, the top-seeded American overwhelmed the 94th-ranked South African in the opening match on Court 1, hitting eight aces and notching 26 winners.
The 30-year-old Scheepers, who had never won a match at Wimbledon until this week, had only five winners to go with 13 unforced errors.Other early women’s winners included No. 11 Ana Ivanovic and No. 25 Alice Cornet.
Djokovic shuts out Stepanek
Late on Wednesday, top seed Novak Djokovic survived a testing Centre Court examination at the hands of close friend and veteran serve-and-volleyer Radek Stepanek to reach the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday.Djokovic, the 2011 champion, carved out a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5) victory over the 35-year-old Czech who has now lost 11 of the pair’s 12 meetings.But the World No.2 progressed the hard way, squandering a 5-2 lead in the third set tie-break before recovering his composure.
Kyrgios shocks Gasquet
Among other men’s matches, Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios saved nine match points before beating No. 13 seed Richard Gasquet 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8.
Eighth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada advanced with 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Jack Sock of the United States and No. 24 Gaels Monfils lost to Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-7 (3), 6-4.
Sania-Cara pair cruises
Fourth seeds, India’s Sania Mirza and Cara Black of Zimbabwe cruised past thrashed the pair of Martina Hingis and Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-4 to enter the women’s doubles second round on Wednesday. Sania and Cara suffered a bit of a hiccup early in the match when the Zimbabwean, on a comeback run, lost serve in the third game of the opening set.
The fourth seeds then combined well, the Indian dominating from the baseline as they won five straight games to close out the set.Playing on an outside court, before a packed, late-evening gallery Cara and Sania charged to a 5-2 lead in the second set before closing the issue in the tenth game....