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Nadal Recovers From Slow Start

Wimbledon, England

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal is now 50-11 lifetime on grass courts.

Second seed Rafael Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion, recorded his 50th grass-court match win after overcoming a slow start at The Championships on Tuesday to beat Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-3 on Centre Court.

Nadal, who recovered from 0-4 deficit in the first set, hit six aces and 35 winners, converting six of nine break point opportunities in two hours and 15 minutes. The Spaniard improved to 69-6 against fellow left-handers and to 36-6 at Wimbledon.

“I think today I didn't play my best match,” admitted Nadal. “I think especially in the first set, I played [a] little bit too nervous - not knowing exactly what to do. My movement was a little bit in [a] defensive way, [but] not in aggressive way. [In] the second and third sets I played better, even if I had a big mistake in the third at 2-0, 30/0. I felt in that moment I started to hit better the forehand. That's the most important thing for me.”

The 26-year-old Nadal is bidding to become just the second man in the Open Era (after Bjorn Borg) to win the Roland Garros-Wimbledon title double on three occasions. Borg did it from 1978-80.

Nadal will next meet Czech Lukas Rosol, who withstood 27 aces from Ivan Dodig of Croatia in a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(0), 7-5 victory in two hours and 40 minutes.

Philipp Kohlschreiber, the No. 27 seed, won an all-German battle against Tommy Haas to avenge his Gerry Weber Open semi-final loss 11 days ago. Kohlschreiber triumphed 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 6-2 and goes onto face Tunisian Malek Jaziri, a 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 9-7 victor over Jurgen Zopp of Estonia.

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