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Rafael Nadal rolls on with another Wimbledon win

By The Sports Xchange
Rafael Nadal rolls on with another Wimbledon win
Rafael Nadal celebrates following his victory at Wimbledon on Friday. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI. | License Photo

Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal fought off Karen Khachanov on Friday to extend his Grand Slam winning streak to 28 sets and reach the fourth round at the All England Club in London.

The fourth-seeded Spaniard beat the No. 30 seed Russian 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in two hours, 15 minutes for a place in the Round of 16.

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The 31-year-old Nadal can take over from Andy Murray as the top-ranked player in the world if he reaches the final. It would move Nadal to No. 1 for the first time since June 2014.

Nadal broke the 21-year-old Khachanov's serve three times in the first set as he completely dominated his opponent. The second set was a tighter affair, with Khachanov still being broken in the third game.

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Nadal, who captured his record 10th French Open title last month, saved a set point in the third to force a tie-break. The victory means Nadal has not dropped a set in his past 10 Grand Slam matches.

Top-seeded Murray, the defending champion from Scotland, followed Nadal on Centre Court for his third-round match against Fabio Fognini of Italy.

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In an earlier men's match, ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan was upset in the third round, losing to 18th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.

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"I couldn't maintain my level high enough," Nishikori said. "I think he served well every set. Was really tough time (on) my return game."

Bautista Agut reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the second time, also doing so at the Grand Slam event in 2015. He lost all eight previous times he got to the Round of 16 at majors.

Bautista Agut will next face No. 7 seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion from Croatia.

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Cilic advanced by beating American Steve Johnson, the 26th seed, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-4. Cilic lost in the Wimbledon quarterfinals each of the past three years.

Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, the No. 16 seed, and Benoit Paire of France also advanced to the fourth round in the men's draw.

Muller beat Britain's Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-4 and Paire eliminated Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

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Muller hit 19 aces -- for a tournament-leading 72 in three matches -- to knock out Bedene in two hours, 27 minutes.

"Every time I give my best till the end," Bedene said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out today. I wasn't playing my best tennis. He's playing a little bit different, a unique style with his lefty good serve, great slice. I just didn't find my rhythm today. It wasn't easy."

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