Rafael Nadal is through to the third round at Wimbledon 2014 after a tough four-set victory over Lukas Rosol.

Mark Bollons reports live from Centre Court

Meeting at the same stage as two years ago at SW19, the world number one made sure that things didn't go the same way as 2012, winning 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.

There would have been doubts in the Spaniard's mind early in the contest however, as Rosol showed the kind of hitting that saw him claim the finest victory of his career on that late Thursday evening in west London.

But, meeting almost two-years to the day on from that encounter, Nadal showed why he is one of the greatest players in the game today and a legitimate contender for a third major title on the grass.

Early pressure

Having dropped the first set in his opening match, Nadal repeated the trick this time around as his Czech opponent quickly found his rhythm. A decisive break towards the end of the set was quickly closed out.

The French Open champion was unable to create chances on his opponents serve, but needed to in the second set as he again found himself behind. As is so often the case, the number two seed found the answers to force a tie-break.

Again opportunities were few and far between, but it was Nadal who managed to grind out and ultimately take the chance when it mattered. He claimed it 8-6, and with it took the momentum into the third.


Before the encounter, Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni, said that he was a different player to the one that lost two years ago and subsequently missed nine months of the season with a knee injury.

That became evident in the third, and whilst Rosol did little wrong throughout, it was Nadal who created the four break points, taking just one of them. It was all he needed to take it 6-4 and move ahead on the scoreboard.


The level of tennis showed no signs of dropping in the fourth, and the pair exchanged some blistering rallies from deep to the joy of the Centre Court crowd.

However, it was Nadal who took his break point opportunity when it arose, and despite offering up a chance when serving for the match, he made fewer errors at the death to close it out 6-4 and move into the third round.

He'll meet Mikhail Kukushkin on Saturday, and hope for a slightly easier passage into the second week after this battle, which lasted just under two hours, 45 minutes.

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