Botic van de Zandschulp was unable to provide a stunt against Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of Wimbledon on Monday evening. The Dutchman went down on the London grass in three sets against the Spanish tennis legend: 6-4, 6-2 and 7-6 (6).
The 26-year-old Van de Zandschulp could hope for a fourth set when Nadal failed to serve out the match at 5-3 and missed three match points in the tiebreak. Due to a smash by Van de Zandschulp in the tram rails, the visibly relieved Spaniard pulled the longest end on the center court after 2.5 hours in three sets.
Due to the elimination of Van de Zandschulp, there are no longer any Dutch players in men’s singles. Sensation Tim van Rijthoven went down on Sunday evening in the fourth round fighting against defending champion Novak Djokovic. Tallon Greek track was knocked out in the second round by Carlos Alcaraz.
It was the first time in twenty years that two Dutchmen were in the eighth finals of a Grand Slam tournament. Van de Zandschulp can therefore look back on Wimbledon with a good feeling. De Veenendaler only participated for the second time in London, where he made it to the second round as a qualifier last year.
Van de Zandschulp met Nadal for the second time in more than a month at a Grand Slam tournament. The 36-year-old gravel king was also a size too big for the current number 25 in the world at Roland Garros at the end of May: 6-3, 6-2 and 6-4.
With another convincing win over Van de Zandschulp, Nadal is still on track for his 23rd Grand Slam title. The current number four in the world, holder of the Grand Slam record, has already won the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year. In the quarterfinals, Nadal will face a showdown with American Taylor Fritz.
Rafael Nadal remains on track for his 23rd Grand Slam title.
Van de Zandschulp makes too many mistakes after a strong start
At the start of the match, Van de Zandschulp held his own in the rallies against one of the best tennis players of all time. The main difference was that the strongly serving Nadal bar gave little away in his service innings and Van de Zandschulp already had to save two breakpoints in his first service game. At 5-4, Nadal decided the first set with a break.
Despite an encouraging start to the second set, in which Van de Zandschulp forced a breakpoint but did not use it, Nadal again managed to peak at the right moments. The Spaniard immediately put the leader of Dutch tennis at a break. Van de Zandschulp then didn’t come into his game anymore and made unnecessary mistakes.
Nadal, who made only eight unnecessary mistakes in the first two sets, left little behind and dragged into the second set with a 5-2 lead on Van de Zandschulp’s service. It seemed to be a fast match, but Nadal helped the Dutchman in the first game of the third set by relinquishing a 40-0 lead in his service game.
Van de Zandschulp couldn’t enjoy his first break for long, because Nadal immediately brought the balance back and the Dutchman broke again at a 3-2 lead with a great winner which he celebrated exuberantly. Nadal then had the victory up for grabs, but failed to serve out the game.
Van de Zandschulp seemed to regain the necessary confidence, because he made fewer mistakes and convinced in his own service games. In the decisive tiebreak, Van de Zandschulp was also kept alive by Nadal, who missed three match points. The Veenendaler was allowed to hope for a fourth set for a while, but his tournament ended badly due to a careless mistake.