Wimbledon 2017: Rafael Nadal notches 850th career win, Petra Kvitova continues successful comeback

London: Rafael Nadal stormed into the Wimbledon second round as the world number two secured his 850th career victory with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 demolition of Australia's John Millman on Monday.

Fresh from winning his 10th French Open title last month, Nadal marked his 50th match at Wimbledon by crushing Millman in one hour and 46 minutes on Court One.

Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his match against John Millman. AP

Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his match against John Millman. AP

The two-time Wimbledon champion is just the seventh player to reach the 850-win mark, joining Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Guillermo Villas.

With 217 Grand Slam match victories, Nadal is now in sixth place on the all-time list at the majors.

Nadal, seeded to face defending champion Andy Murray in the semi-finals, will play Donald Young for a place in the last 32 as he bids to win Wimbledon for the first time since 2010.

"I haven't had many matches on grass for the last few years, but I had some positive feelings," Nadal said.

"For all the players it's so special to play here, especially for me with all the history I have here. It's very emotional to be back.

"I'm happy with the way I started. I've been playing well since the beginning of the season.

"The clay-court season was special for me and now I have an opportunity to compete on grass."

Having won the French Open without dropping a single set, Nadal has made a rare smooth transition to the grass of south-west London.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, beset by chronic knee problems, has struggled to adapt to the low bounce on grass in the latter stages of his career.

He hasn't been past the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011, losing to players ranked outside the top 100 on each of his last four visits.

But after missing Wimbledon due to a wrist injury last season and opting against playing a grass-court event after Roland Garros, Nadal had the ideal opponent to get up and running.

Millman, ranked 137th, was playing only his second Tour-level match this year after missing five months with a hip injury.

He was no match for a rampant Nadal and the 15-time Grand Slam champion blitzed his way to victory with a barrage of his trademark top-spin forehands.

Kvitova makes winning Wimbledon comeback

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova made a victorious return to Wimbledon on Monday after the knife attack that threatened to end her career.

In December she suffered severe injuries to her left playing hand while fighting off a knife-wielding burglar at her home in a terrifying assault.

The world number 12 had a relatively tough first round opponent in Sweden's Johanna Larsson, ranked number 53.

But the Czech number two triumphed 6-3, 6-4 in a match on Centre Court watched by Prince William's wife Kate, the patron of the All England Club and a sympathetic crowd.

"I felt the energy from the crowd and it was amazing to be back here at Wimbledon and playing on the beautiful Centre Court. It's the favourite court of my career," Kvitova said.

"It was my motivation to come back and play in Wimbledon. I'm very happy that the dream came true and I was able to play here again.

"I was a bit tight, I was nervous before and I started really badly with my serve and I need to improve it for sure, and my ground strokes."

It was only Kvitova's eighth match back after six months out recovering from her knife wounds.

Kvitova went out in the second round at the French Open in May in her comeback tournament but went on to win Birmingham, one of the Wimbledon warm-up events.

She was due to play at Eastbourne last week but pulled out with an abdominal injury.

"I feel no pain, which is good, but of course I missed a few days of practicing," Kvitova said after Monday's win.

"I hope with matches and practice it will be better and better."

Larsson, who went into the contest having lost all six of her previous matches at the All England Club, put up more of a fight in the second set but Kvitova broke serve at a crucial time for a 5-4 lead before serving for victory.

Kvitova, 27, won the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon titles in her only Grand Slam finals appearances.

The former world number two will play either Madison Brengle of the United States or Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands in the second round on Wednesday.

Updated Date: Jul 03, 2017 23:07 PM

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