Wimbledon 2018 - Mikhail Kukushkin vs Rafael Nadal Preview

Nick Kyrgios

Second seed Rafael Nadal began his 2018 Wimbledon campaign in fine style, easily breezing past Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in just one hour and 52 minutes.

Novak Djokovic might have needed to get his sat-nav out to find his way to Court Two at Wimbledon but once he arrived it was all one way traffic as he reached the third round with a 6-1 6-2 6-3 win over Horacio Zeballos.

The US Open has made a decision to introduce a shot clock this year so that the 25 seconds allowed between points is strictly enforced and Wimbledon is likely to follow suit.

Nadal pointed to his epic 4 hr 48in Wimbledon final against Roger Federer in 2008 - a match widely considered the best final ever played at the All England Club. I've said, if possible, I prefer another umpire on my court. "Yeah, I felt it all the way to the end of the match basically, last couple games." the Serbian said.

"When I was kind of younger, I played better on the Grand Slams than the other tournaments".

Umpire Carlos Bernardes, who has history with Nadal, lost patience with the Mallorcan's tardiness before the start of the third set - handing out a warning.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev won 15 of the last 17 games to see off Australian James Duckworth 7-5 6-2 6-0.

As seeds further down the rankings tumble, those at the top and - in the case of Nadal and Djokovic - former champions are staying strong.

No. 11 Angelique Kerber of Germany vs. Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, No. 13 Julia Goerges of Germany vs. Donna Vekic of Croatia, Camila Giorgi of Italy vs. Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan vs. Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, and Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium vs. Daria Kasatkina of Russia.

Zverev recorded his best Wimbledon performance previous year by reaching the round of 16. Williams is also the lone past Wimbledon champion left in the women's bracket; she owns seven titles, including in 2015 and 2016, the previous two times she entered the tournament. Australia's Nick Kyrgios, who famously stunned Nadal at the tournament in 2014, marked his 50th match at the majors with a 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

World number one Nadal is routinely warned for slow play between points.



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