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Nadal swats away Van de Zandschulp to march into Wimbledon quarters

Nadal swats away Van de Zandschulp to march into Wimbledon quarters
July 5, 2022 Web Desk

LONDON (Reuters) - Second seed Rafael Nadal took another step forward in his bid for a rare calendar-year Grand Slam on Monday (July 4) by booking 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 the Mallorcan claim the calendar slam -- a feat last achieved in 1969 by Australian great Rod Laver.

Nadal broke 21st-seeded Van de Zandschulp's serve five times in the final Centre Court match on Monday, dominating the contest from start to finish to win in two hours 21 minutes.

Serving for the match at 5-3, the 36-year-old Spaniard was broken but then got the job done in the tiebreak. He will face American 11th seed Taylor Fritz for a place in Friday's (July 8) semi-finals.

American Amanda Anisimova had a memorable Fourth of July, the Independence Day holiday in the United States, when she reached the quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Frenchwoman Harmony Tan.

Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic reached the last eight for the second time in a row by beating France's Alize Cornet 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Anisimova will next face former champion Simona Halep. The Romanian, playing on Centre Court for the first time since winning the title in 2019, won through with a 6-1 6-2 victory over world number four Paula Badosa in just under an hour.

It is the first time Halep has beaten a top-five player on grass.