Wimbledon 2017: Rafael Nadal resists late Karen Khachanov surge for win, Jelena Ostapenko advances

London: Rafael Nadal is on his way to the fourth round at Wimbledon, and he's three matches away from taking over as the World No 1 player in the world.

Nadal beat Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) Friday on Centre Court. If he reaches the final at the All England Club, the two-time Wimbledon champion will take over from Andy Murray as the top-ranked player in the world.

"First set and a half, I think, was very, very well. Very happy (with) the way that I played," Nadal said in a television interview after walking off court. "Then it was a little bit tougher. I think I stopped a little bit with the legs and he started to hit stronger, but he's still a tough opponent and it's impossible to win easy."

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning against Russia's Karen Khachanov in their Men's Singles Match on day five at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Friday, July 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning against Karen Khachanov in their match on day 5 at Wimbledon. AP

Nadal was playing in front of several sports stars seated in the Royal Box. One of them was Sergio Garcia, the Spanish golfer who was wearing his green Masters jacket.

"He's having an amazing season, especially with that victory, amazing victory in the Masters," Nadal said. "So, just great to see him and thanks for coming."

Nadal is having a pretty good season, too. He reached the Australian Open final, losing to Roger Federer, and won the French Open. The title at Roland Garros was his 10th at the clay-court major.

On Monday, Nadal will face Gilles Muller in the fourth round. Muller beat Nadal at the All England Club in 2005, but the Spaniard got one back in 2011. That was the last time Nadal got past the fourth round at Wimbledon, reaching the final but losing to Novak Djokovic.

"He's a specialist on grass," Nadal said of Muller. "Probably his best surface, without a doubt."

Jelena Ostapenko has followed up her French Open championship by getting to the second week at Wimbledon for the first time.

The 13th-seeded Ostapenko reached the fourth round at the All England Club by beating Camila Giorgi of Italy 7-5, 7-5.

Ostapenko, who turned 20 last month, had never won a tour-level title until her impressive run on the red clay at Roland Garros.

The Latvian won the 2014 junior title at Wimbledon.


Published Date: Jul 07, 2017 11:20 pm | Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 11:20 pm


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