Nadal endured a second-round loss to Dustin Brown in 2015 and missed last year’s tournament through injury, but his bid to secure a 16th grand slam title this fortnight was never in danger on Centre Court.
He needed just over two hours to see off Young 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 and the world No 2 will now face the talented Russian Karen Khachanov for a place in the last 16.
“It was a good match again, almost all the time more or less under control,” Nadal said. “It’s true that in the third I served a little bit worse. But in general terms, I am happy. I played well.”
As Nadal, pictured, left to rapturous applause, he received an unusual request for an autograph as one adoring fan asked him to sign his prosthetic leg. “It was already off,” Nadal said. “I don’t know if he took it off at that moment or not.”
Asked if it was the strangest autograph he had ever signed, Nadal said with a smile: “Probably not.”
Seventh seed Marin Cilic of Croatia was a 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 7-5 winner over Germany’s Florian Mayer, while Kei Nishikori, the ninth seed from Japan, dropped a set against Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky but still ran out a 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) winner.
Two-time semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, seeded 17th this year, claimed a 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Simone Bolelli of Italy.
But Tsonga’s fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille, the 14th seed, was a surprise 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-1 loser to Jerzy Janowicz of Poland.
Gilles Muller of Luxembourg came through a marathon five-setter 9-7 in the decider against Czech Lukas Rosol and the 16th seed will face Britain’s Aljaz Bedene in round three.