Wimbledon: Nadal beats Kukushkin in second round

London: World number one Rafael Nadal on Thursday defeated Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of Wimbledon campaign.

Kukushkin, 30, put forth a good effort against Nadal. He recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the first set with aggressive, flat groundstrokes. The World No. 77 even captured a 3-1 lead in the third set, but Nadal’s unrelenting focus was too much for him to handle.

Nadal, 32, won just 64 per cent of his first-serve points in the match, with Kukushkin preventing him from consistently stepping well into the court, but Nadal did well to claim 71 per cent of his second-serve points.
Nadal will next play against Australian player Alex de Minaur, who is into the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

If Nadal beats Minaur, he will retain his number one ranking.

However, if Minaur springs the upset on the hallowed grass, and Swiss star Roger Federer goes on to win his ninth Wimbledon crown, Nadal will come down to the second rank.

“He’s (Minaur) good. He’s young. He’s dangerous. Good player. So let’s see, it’s a good challenge for me. I am very happy the way that I played today. That’s going to be a good energy to play the next round,” Nadal said at a press briefing. (ANI)