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Nadal survives explosive Kyrgios; Federer rolls

LONDON – Nick Kyrgios did almost everything against Rafael Nadal in Wimbledon, except victory.

Australia hit some underhand, including one that landed for an ace. He tried a couple of tweeners. And he even ran early on a servant from Nadal and argued loudly with the chair umpire.

The antiques were entertaining, but not enough to eliminate the two-time champion from Spain, who won 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) at Center Court to reach third round.

Nadal and Kyrgios do not have the best relationship on court or outside it. In 2014, a 19-year-old Kyrgios Nadal in Wimbledon struck the youngest man to eliminate No. 1 player at a major tournament since 2005. To this end, a public spear with Nadal, his uncle and Kyrgios added in recent months. "Potentially" said Nadal about 43-ranked Kyrgios, "he is a Grand Slam winner."

"When he wants to compete well, he is one of the hardest opponents you can face. Normally against me and the top guys, he wants to try hard. And when he is that way, he is very much hard. "

After his second round victory, Kyrgios said he would not expect to" have a beer together "at Dog & Fox, a nearby pub where the 24-year-old Australian was seen on Wednesday night.

The 33-year-old Nadal answered in a separate interview saying he was "too old for all these things."

The No. 2 Seed Nadal seeks his third Wimbledon title but only since 201

0. He looks at a 19th Grand Slam title as a whole that would move him within one of Roger Federer & # 39; s record for men.

While Nadal was working hard to reach the third round, Federer, an eight-hour champion at the All-England Club, was dominated by British wildcard record Jay Clarke 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in a rare visit to the No. 1 court.

Clarke is ranked No. 169, but he kept his own against Federer in the second set until the tiebreaker, as the Swiss star won four equal points to take a 5-2 lead. He then ran a 3-0 lead in the third set a d broke again in the last game.

Last year, Federer lost his only match at No. 1 court to Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals after wasting a two-lead lead. But he said the new roof over the stadium made it feel more like his usual surroundings.

"I really enjoyed myself at Court 1 today with the roof," Federer said. "I couldn't really tell if it was Center Court or Court 1."

In other matches, John Isner, last year's semi-finalist, was knocked out in the second round and lost a five-set to Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

The hard-working American was a set away from the victory, but lost 6-4, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 Court. Kukushkin broke in opening game in the fifth set and kept earning the rest of the way and converted his first match point when the ninth-seed Isner sent a backhand long.

Isner reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in Wimbledon last year before losing a five-set to Anderson, who lasted more than 6½ hours, the second-longest battle in Grand Slam history. Isner was also involved for the longest time and beat Nicolas Mahut in an 11-hour game that ended 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010.

American Steve Johnson won for the first time in five attempts against a top 30 opponent at Wimbledon passing by No. 25 seed Alex de Minaur from Australia 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Johnson, who ranked 71, had lost his last nine matches against men within ATP's top 30.

How close was this? Johnson won fewer points (150-149), earned fewer service interruptions (3-2) and made almost twice as many undisturbed errors (45-25).

But Johnson broke the Minaur, who is ranked 29th second-last game, then earned the victory that ended when Johnson's down-the-line forehand pulled a long backhand on a 22-stroke exchange.

Johnson's best Grand Slam show was a fourth round at the All England Club in 2016, ending with a loss for Federer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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