Wimbledon Watch: Rafael Nadal breezes through, Novak Djokovic survives thigh scare, Marin Cillic crashes out

1 / 3
Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the second round match against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin (REUTERS/Tony O'Brien)
2 / 3
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second round match against Argentina's Horacio Zeballos . (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
3 / 3
Marin Cilic reacts against Argentina's Guido Pella during their men's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships. (AFP/Glyn KIRK)
Updated 05 July 2018
0

Wimbledon Watch: Rafael Nadal breezes through, Novak Djokovic survives thigh scare, Marin Cillic crashes out

  • Novak Djokovic made it through with a straight sets win over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, despite a slight injury scare in the third set
  • Cilic's early exit opens up Federer’s path to the final even more

LONDON: World number one Rafael Nadal made it to the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday with a straight sets victory over Mikhail Kukushkin.
The Spanish second seed won 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 on Center Court against the world number 77.
Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion, faces Australia’s Alex De Minaur on Saturday for a place in the last 16.
Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic made it through with a straight sets win over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, despite a slight injury scare in the third set.
The former world number one, seeded 12th at the All England Club as he makes his way back from an elbow injury, won 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 for his 60th win at the tournament.
The three-time Wimbledon champion, more used to playing on the main Center Court or Court One arenas, was in the strange position of playing on the 4,000-seater Court Two.
Djokovic had treatment on his left thigh in the third set but overcame the problem to see out the set.
He faces either British 21st seed Kyle Edmund or US qualifier Bradley Klahn in Saturday’s third round.
Meanwhile, in the biggest shock of the tournament so far, Guido Pella of Argentina came from two sets down to stun third-seeded Marin Cilic at Wimbledon, beating last year’s finalist 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 in the second round.
Cilic looked headed for a routine victory before the match was suspended by rain in the third set on Wednesday but the former US Open champion couldn’t find the same rhythm on Thursday.
“Yesterday he was playing so, so good, and hitting the ball so hard that I couldn’t do anything,” the 82nd-ranked Pella said. “So the rain helped me a lot.”
Cilic was runner-up to Roger Federer last year and showed great form by beating Novak Djokovic in the Queen’s Club final last month.
His early exit opens up Federer’s path to the final even more, with No. 8 Kevin Anderson now the highest-seeded player left in the Swiss star’s side of the draw after No. 6 Grigor Dimitrov lost in the first round.


Kane stunner earns Spurs victory over Juventus

Updated 21 July 2019
0

Kane stunner earns Spurs victory over Juventus

  • Juventus struggle to adapt to their new manager’s ‘Sarri-ball’ tactic of playing out from the back with short, quick passes

SINGAPORE: Harry Kane scored a stunning 93rd minute winner from the halfway line as Tottenham Hotspur edged Juventus 3-2 in an entertaining pre-season friendly in Singapore on Sunday.

The England captain latched onto Lucas Moura's short pass and launched a first-time shot high over a scrambling substitute Wojciech Szczesny in the Juventus goal as Spurs rallied past new manager Maurizio Sarri's Italian champions in front of a delighted National Stadium crowd.

“It’s probably one of the best goals of my career. I noticed the keeper was often off of his line and thought if I get a chance to shoot I will, and it just went in,” Kane said in a post-match interview.

A youthful Spurs dominated the first half as Juventus struggled to adapt to their new manager’s “Sarri-ball” tactic of playing out from the back with short, quick passes. Instead of moving the ball forward, Juventus often found themselves defending desperately after being caught in possession as Spurs pressed high up the pitch with the Premier League side going on to take a deserved lead on the half-hour mark.

Son Heung-min started the move by holding up play and feeding Troy Parrott for a clear run at Gianluigi Buffon in the Juventus goal, with the 17-year-old forward's low strike parried by the keeper straight into the path of an unmarked Erik Lamela for a routine tap-in.

Juventus had more success after the break when they increased their tempo and went more direct, and halftime substitute Gonzalo Higuain levelled the score in the 56th minute with a drilled strike after exchanging passes with Federico Bernardeschi.

Buoyed by the equalizer, Juventus were soon ahead when Ronaldo arrived late to drive home Mattia De Sciglio's cutback four minutes later, leaving to rapturous applause by an adoring crowd when he was substituted immediately after scoring.

Spurs were level five minutes later, however, when Champions League semifinal hero Lucas fired home record-signing Tanguy Ndombele's low cross, the French midfielder finding the Brazilian with his first touch after coming on as a substitute.

Kane and Higuain both squandered good chances to score winning goals in the final 10 minutes before the England striker prevented the contest going to a penalty shootout with the most brilliant of strikes.

Meantime, Tottenham forward  Moura insists he does not  hold a grudge against boss Mauricio Pochettino despite being dropped for the Champions League final.

“I need to respect the decision of the coach and respect my teammates, so no problem with this,” said Lucas who was left on the bench for the final in spite of scoring a dramatic hat rick in Spurs' stunning semifinal comeback at Ajax.

Pochettino preferred to use  Kane in attack against Liverpool in Madrid despite a lengthy absence following injury.

Brazil international Lucas eventually came on in the 66th minute, but was unable to prevent Tottenham slipping to a 2-0 defeat.

“Of course it was difficult because every player wants to play. But it was even more to lose the game,” Lucas was quoted as saying by several British media outlets.

“For sure he (Pochettino) has a good reason for this (decision) and I am sure that it was difficult for him as well to choose a player. He needs to choose only 11.”

“I respect, I am a professional. No problem for this. Now I look forward to the next season.”