Nadal scratches his seven-year itch to reach quarter-finals once again

Rafael Nadal remains on course to meet old foe Roger Federer. Pic: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal remains on course to meet old foe Roger Federer. Pic: Clive Mason/Getty Images
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Rafael Nadal ended a seven-year wait to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals again and remains on track for another battle for the trophy with Roger Federer. Nadal has breezed through the draw so far and secured another straight-sets win yesterday, beating Czech Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

The world No 1 said: “Of course it’s an important result for me. It’s true that it has been a while since I have been in that position but, at the same time, I have been in that position a couple of times in my career.”

In the last eight tomorrow, Federer will face eighth seed Kevin Anderson, one of a number of players enjoying a career-best Wimbledon after a 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Gael Monfils.

Novak Djokovic also had a comfortable passage into the last eight with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Karen Khachanov but admitted afterwards the sun caused him some problems. He said: “It was really difficult conditions to play in. The last couple of games, I couldn’t really see the ball very well.”

Djokovic will play Kei Nishikori in the next round. Nishikori and John Isner are both through to the quarter-finals for the first time. Isner has only reached one previous grand slam quarter-final, at the US Open in 2011, and his serve proved too strong for Stefanos Tsitsipas in a 6-4, 7-6 (12/10), 7-6 (7/4) victory.

The American is hoping he might have some presidential support should he reach the semi-finals, with Donald Trump due to visit the UK later this week. “I’d love to have Trump come watch me,” said Isner, a supporter of the Republican Party. “That would be awesome.”

Next up for the American will be Milos Raonic, who overcame Isner’s countryman Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2.

Nishikori now appears close to his best again and he had a 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (12/10), 6-1 victory over Ernests Gulbis.

Meanwhile, Aidan McHugh had an unwelcome 18th birthday present yesterday – defeat in the first round of the boys’ championship. The Scot was beaten 6-2, 2-6, 3-6 by France’s Harold Mayot.

McHugh said: “I was far too much behind the baseline, pretty passive. I thought the guy would miss a lot more and thought I could get away with it. As soon as I did inject pace or anything like that, the guy really didn’t like it. I needed to learn that, to be like that from the start.”