Federer in the mood as Nadal forced to find A-game

Seven-time champion Roger Federer put on an evening masterclass after world number one Rafael Nadal laboured his way through to the third round at Wimbledon.

Federer in the mood as Nadal forced to find A-game

A breezy win over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg under the roof on Centre Court carried Federer through, while Nadal found a way past old foe Lukas Rosol on the same stage after staving off a major scare.

Swiss fourth seed Federer – aiming to eclipse the record of seven open era titles that he shares with Pete Sampras – cruised to a 6-3 7-5 6-3 win over Muller in barely an hour and a half.

Earlier, there had been the threat of another storm for Nadal, who eventually battled back to beat Rosol 4-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 6-4 and avenge his defeat by the big-serving Czech two years ago.

The French Open champion dropped the opener and had to save the second set in a tie-break, in which he was 5-3 down, before finding the momentum to eventually end Rosol’s brave challenge.

“It is a very important victory for me. I think I finished the match playing at a very high level,” Nadal said.

On Court Two, former Wimbledon champion Leyton Hewitt was a set down to Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz at 7-5 4-4 when the covers came on.

Earlier on day four, number eight seed Milos Raonic continued to impress as the Canadian saw off America’s Jack Sock 6-3 6-4 6-4 to reach the last 32.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was made to wait again for his victory over Sam Querrey of America, coming through an epic clash 4-6 7-6 (7/2) 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 14-12 which had been held over from Wednesday.

That match concluded on Court Two, after 19-year-old Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios caused an upset by coming from two sets behind to knock out 13th seed Richard Gasquet, beating the Frenchman 3-6 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 7-5 10-8 after saving nine match points.

Fifth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka saw off Lu Yen-hsun of Chinese Taipei 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 3-6 7-5.

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova has confirmed she wants a crack at nemesis Serena Williams in the quarter-finals.

The Russian and the American have individually carried women’s tennis to new heights over the last decade, but the rivalry has been overwhelmingly dominated by Williams.

Sharapova last overcame Williams in the final of the 2004 Tour Championships, four months after first achieving the feat as a 17-year-old to land the Wimbledon title.

It has been all Williams ever since, posting 15 straight victories over Sharapova and dropping just three sets in the process.

With Williams the top seed and Sharapova number five, the tournament draw threw up the tantalising prospect of the pair meeting in the last eight, and they remained on collision course following crushing wins in the second round yesterday.

Sharapova breezed by Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky, easing to a 6-2 6-1 victory, while Williams won 6-1 6-1 against South African Chanelle Scheepers.

“I haven’t had a chance to watch too many of her matches,” Sharapova said. “But it doesn’t really matter. She’s been here. She’s done it many, many times.

“If we do get to the stage of playing against each other, first of all, I’ll be happy to be in that stage, in the quarter-final stage, facing against her on one of the courts.

“I haven’t had the best results against her. I always look forward to that opportunity and the challenge to play against the best”

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