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Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas advance to third round at Wimbledon

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Rafael Nadal reached the Wimbledon third round for the 11th time after beating Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday.

Second-seeded Nadal looked far from his best at times, but won on Center Court in a match that ended indoors after a rain delay in the fourth set.

It was Nadal’s 307th Grand Slam victory, overtaking Martina Navratilova for fourth place on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer (369), Serena Williams (365) and Novak Djokovic (330).

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“Yeah, it’s honestly not the best start,” Nadal said of Thursday’s win. “I ended up playing well. The fourth set has been the level of tennis for me, a major improvement. The rest of the things, I have room to improve.”

Nadal is seeking a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title and a third Wimbledon trophy.

In other men’s matches, former French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, the fourth seed, set up a showdown with teammate Nick Kyrgios, advancing to the third round with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Jordan Thompson. of Australia in Court No. 1.

Tsitsipas broke Thompson in the final game to secure victory on his third match point when the Aussie hit a long shot.

It is the first time since 2018 that he has reached the third round at Wimbledon, having lost in the first round last year and in 2019. Tsitsipas, who lost last year’s French Open final to Novak Djokovic, reached the fourth round in 2018 in his career. best result at the All England Club.

“It’s going to be a challenge on grass for sure,” Tsitsipas said of facing Kyrgios. “He is a great opponent for this surface.”

Kyrgios beat 26th seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 on Court No. 2 and reached the third round with a performance that ensured his tennis was the only topic of conversation this time around by showing a variety of shots. -doing that included 50 winners, 24 aces and a couple of crowd-pleasing tweeners.

Kyrgios never faced a break point and looked completely focused throughout the match, never getting into any major arguments with the chair umpire or the crowd, though he did reprimand a fan for coughing during the second set.

After his first-round win, the volatile Aussie spat in the direction of a spectator who he said had been pestering him, resulting in a $10,000 fine Thursday for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Kyrgios said of Thursday’s win: “I just wanted to remind everyone that I’m pretty good.”

Brandon Nakashima of the United States matched his best result in a major tournament by ousting 13th seed Denis Shapovalov, a semifinalist here last year, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(6).

Nakashima, who is ranked 56th in the world and advanced to the same stage at this year’s French Open, will face Daniel Elahi Galan. The Colombian advanced to the third round when Roberto Bautista Agut withdrew from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.

Britain’s Liam Broady defeated No. 12 Diego Schwartzman, while Taylor Fritz (11), Botic Van De Zandschulp (21), Lorenzo Sonego (27) and Jenson Brooksby (29) were among the top seeds who advanced.

Overall, it’s been a pretty productive (and rare) start to Wimbledon for Nakashima, Fritz, Brooksby and other American men: There will be eight of them in the third round, making up a quarter of the 32 players left on the field. , the most for the country at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament since 1995. It is also the most at any major since the 1996 US Open.

“We’re moving in the right direction. Obviously, the goal is not the third round. The goal goes much further,” said Martin Blackman, USTA General Manager of Player Development. “But when you get numbers like this, it’s an indicator of a process that’s working. So I think that’s what’s so encouraging. All the guys that are in the third round want to go much further; I don’t think any of them they are satisfied.”

In 2013, no men from the United States reached the third round of Wimbledon, something that had not happened since 1912, when no American entered the event.

“It’s great to see everyone doing well, digging deeper into these tournaments,” said Nakashima, a 20-year-old Californian.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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