Everything went smoothly for Rafael Nadal against No. 21 seed Botic van de Zandschulp until it came time to close out their fourth-round match at Wimbledon.
Serving for the win at 5-3 in the third set, Nadal, the No. 2 seed, was broken for the second time in the match and he then failed to convert three straight match points when leading 6-3 in the ensuing tiebreaker.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 4, 2022
That was the end of the Dutchman’s resistance, though, as Nadal converted his fourth match point for a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) win on Centre Court.
The Spaniard is playing his first grass-court tournament since 2019, when he lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals.
He is looking for his third Wimbledon title and has a chance at a calendar-year Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open and French Open to take his career tally to a record 22 major titles.
He will next face 11th-seeded Taylor Fritz, the only American man left in the draw.