Nadal fights off bogeyman Rosol, Serena on a roll

Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:41pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - World number one Rafael Nadal pulled back from the abyss to reach the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday just when it looked as though bogeyman Lukas Rosol had returned to haunt him.

Two years after being knocked out at the same stage by the hard-hitting Czech in a late night Centre Court horror show, the Spaniard found himself a point away from falling two sets behind before fighting back to win 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 6-4.

"Today is another history, another story," Nadal, who could now use his escape as a springboard towards a third title, told reporters after what had been billed as a grudge match.

"I needed to find the solution. Finally I did."

If twice former champion Nadal is being made to work overtime so far, women's favourite Serena Williams, bidding for a sixth singles title at the All England club, and Roger Federer who is chasing a record eighth, have marched through untroubled.

Williams beat South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-1 6-1 and has dropped a mere five games so far while Federer sauntered to a 6-3 7-5 6-3 win over Luxembourg's Gilles Muller - a match requiring the Centre Court roof after rain arrived late on.

Fifth seed Maria Sharapova completed a good day for former champions, the Russian hurrying past Timea Bacsinszky 6-2 6-1.

"I'm sure happy to get through an extra round than I did last year," 2004 winner Sharapova, who slipped out in the second round last year, told reporters.   Continued...

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi