Seeded third at Wimbledon despite being ranked No. 2 in the world, Rafael Nadal has seemingly put any disappointment about that behind as he’s steamrolled his way into the quarterfinals.

And with this run, the Spaniard has notched another milestone in his career at the Grand Slam level: For the first time, Nadal has advanced to the last eight at Wimbledon after reaching the finals of the Australian and French Opens in the same year.

Four times this decade, Nadal has started his Grand Slam campaign with a 13-1 record, following up a championship appearance in Melbourne with yet another title in Paris. In the three instances prior to this year, though, he’s suffered through some rather unexpected losses: In 2012, Lukas Rosol stopped him in five sets in the second round, and in 2014, he fell to unseeded teenager Nick Kyrgios in the round of 16.

Two years ago, the veteran Gilles Muller—in the midst of his best season—knocked Nadal out of Wimbledon in the fourth round in five sets.


After being forced to shut down his 2018 campaign early after the US Open, it was hard to predict where the 18-time Grand Slam champion would be with his game heading into this year. He immediately put any concerns to rest at the Australian Open, taking his first six matches in straight sets before Novak Djokovic ended his quest for the title, denying the 2009 champion in the final.

More doubts about Nadal’s form arose during the clay-court swing as he suffered several unexpected losses before righting the ship in Rome, then adding title No. 12 in Paris.

Now, at Wimbledon, Nadal is looking as strong as ever as he’s only lost one set through his first four matches. Next up is a faceoff with Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals, whom he has a 4-1 record against. Querrey’s lone win, though, came in their last match in Acapulco two years ago and the American is seemingly at his best on grass.

Having already reached a new point in his career, Nadal will surely be eager to keep his run going as he tries to add a third Wimbledon title to his personal ledger.

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