Nadal cruises into Wimbledon quarter final for eighth time

LONDON: Rafael Nadal reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the eighth time on Monday with a straight-sets defeat of Botic van de Zandschulp.

Nadal, who has already won the Australian and French Opens to stand halfway to the first calendar Grand Slam since 1969, triumphed 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (8/6).

Next up for the 36-year-old Spaniard is a clash against American 11th seed Taylor Fritz, who beat him in the Indian Wells final earlier in the year.

“To be back in the quarter-finals after not being here for three years is amazing,” said the 2008 and 2010 champion.

“I expect a very tough match against Taylor — he won his first Masters title this year against me in the final.

“The quarter-finals of a Slam are always very tough.”

Nadal had already defeated Van de Zandschulp in straight sets at the French Open and he was hardly troubled Monday until a third set blip.

He broke the world number 25 Dutchman in the 10th game to secure the opening set.

The 22-time major winner backed it up with a double break in the second set.

Van de Zandschulp managed to stem the bleeding, retrieving a break in the third to get to a tiebreak.

He saved three match points before his challenge ended with a wild smash.

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