Rafael Nadal: 'Amazing for me' to reach Wimbledon quarter-finals

Second seed with next face American 11th seed Taylor Fritz for a place in Friday's semi-finals

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Second seed Rafael Nadal said booking a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals after three years away felt "amazing" after a commanding 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 win against Botic van de Zandschulp.

Nadal won the last of his two Wimbledon titles back in 2010 but arrived at the All England Club having won both the Australian and French Opens as he chases a calendar Grand Slam.

He will face American 11th seed Taylor Fritz for a place in Friday's semi-finals.

"To be in the quarter-finals here at Wimbledon after three years without playing here, it's amazing for me," said Nadal. "So very, very happy.

"It has been a good match in general terms against a difficult player. I think a very good player."

Nadal, 36, played and won at Roland Garros with pain-killing injections prior to each match and only confirmed his participation at the All England Club after radio frequency treatment eased pain in his foot.

Playing his first tournament on grass since his 2019 semi-final loss at Wimbledon to Roger Federer, the Spaniard has shown little difficulty adjusting to the surface.

"I did, I think, a big effort to be here," he said. "[It] takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play this tournament after the things that I went through the last couple of months.

"But as everybody knows, Wimbledon is a tournament that I like so much. Have been three years without playing here. I really wanted to be back. That's what I am doing. So that's why it means a lot for me to be in the quarter-finals."

Nadal's win over Van de Zandschulp in two hours and 21 minutes saw proceedings on Centre Court end comfortably before the 11pm curfew.

The Spaniard, chasing a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam, feels his overall game was improving "day-by-day".

"It's always the same here. It's not about how close I am to the level or not. I don't know that. I can't predict what's going to happen," Nadal said.

"But the positive thing is the first two matches haven't been good. Then two days ago I played I think at a high level for the first time. And today most of the match, again, at a very positive level."

He dominated proceedings from start to finish in his fourth round outing with a little wobble at the end.

Cameron Norrie makes his way to the practice courts. Getty Images

Crowds of spectators are expected to flock to Wimbledon to watch Cameron Norrie as the last British singles player in the tournament hopes to win his quarter final match.

Hopes are high for the new home favourite, who has revealed his nickname is “Nozza”, in his match against Belgium’s David Goffin on No 1 Court on Tuesday.

As the last British singles player standing, the 26-year-old said he thinks “it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me” following his exhilarating victory against American Tommy Paul on Sunday.

On Monday morning, fans were suggesting that Murray Mound on the SW19 grounds – previously dubbed Henman Hill – should now be renamed Norrie Knoll.

First on Centre Court on Tuesday will be defending champion Novak Djokovic against Italian Jannik Sinner followed by Czech player Marie Bouzkova against Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

Updated: July 05, 2022, 3:20 AM
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