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Wimbledon 2018: Djokovic survives injury scare to beat Horacio Zeballos, Nadal overcomes Kukushkin

Djokovic survives injury scare to beat Zeballos, Nadal overcomes Kukushkin

05/07/2018 at 14:32Updated 05/07/2018 at 19:05

Novak Djokovic overcame an injury scare against Horacio Zeballos to reach the third round at Wimbledon with a 6-1 6-2 6-3 win.

The three-time former champion had to take a medical time out just a few games from victory, with the trainer massaging his left thigh.

However, the 31-year-old, who was playing on an outside court (2) for the first time since 2009 and is still struggling to reach his best form following an elbow problem, managed to continue and clinch the victory.

He has dropped only 12 games in two matches and appeared in top form so appears to be back in with a chance of taking the title, depending on fitness.

He could now face Kyle Edmund in the next round, if the Briton overcomes Bradley Khan.

Meanwhile, Rafa Nadal also won, with a 6-4 6-3 6-4 win over Mikhail Kukushkin.

The two-time champion never quite got to grips with the unorthodox Kazakh's low, skidding shots and faced 13 break points in an entertaining Centre Court contest.

Had Kukushkin converted a few more of them it could have got really complicated for Nadal, who is still finding his grasscourt game after claiming an 11th French Open title.

THe 32-year-old took 10 minutes to hold his opening service game and was still being asked questions by the world number 77 in the third when he slipped 3-1 behind in the face of some inspired shot-making by his opponent.

The 17-times Grand Slam champion dug in though and managed to avoid being dragged further into the afternoon, claiming victory when Kukushkin's forehand smacked into the net tape.

He will face Australian teenager Alex De Minaur in the next round.

RESULTS

No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeats Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Guido Pella defeats No. 3 Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5

No. 8 Kevin Anderson defeats Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4

No. 12 Novak Djokovic defeats Horacio Zeballos 6-1, 6-2, 6-3

No. 15 Nick Kyrgios defeats Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4, 6-5

No. 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber defeats Gilles Muller 7-6, 7-6, 7-6

No. 31 Stefanos Tsitsipas defeats Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3

Frances Tiafoe defeats Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Gilles Simon defeats Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 7-6, 6-2

Thomas Fabbiano defeats Stan Wawrinka 7-6, 6-3, 7-6

Alex de Minaur defeats Pierre-Hughes Herbert 6-2, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3

Matthew Ebden defeats Stephane Robert 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 6-1

Additional reporting: Reuters

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