After seven years of struggles, Rafael Nadal is finally looking like a contender again at Wimbledon.

The top-ranked Spaniard is back in the quarter-finals at the All England Club for the first time since 2011 - and playing a lot like the man who reached his fifth final that year.

"It's true it has been a while," Nadal said about his return to the last eight. "But when I come here, I come here thinking that I can do a good result."

Clearly, the King of Clay hasn't forgotten how to play on grass.


The 11-time French Open champion beat Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court and has yet to drop a set in this tournament. It seems the old Nadal is back at Wimbledon.

That's the Nadal who earned two titles and three runner-up finishes in a six-year span from 2006-11, despite missing the 2009 tournament with knee problems. Not the one who made it past the second round only once in the four years after that, or who was knocked out by Gilles Muller inthe fourth round last year.

His play already has fans and commentators dreaming of another final against champion Roger Federer. The Swiss ace advanced to a record-extending 16th Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino of France.

In the women's draw, Serena Williams booked a place in the quarters for the 13th time after beating Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-2.

Earlier, seventh-ranked Karolina Pliskova, the last of the women's top-10 seeds at the tournament, was knocked out. Kiki Bertens followed her win over Venus Williams by beating Pliskova 6-3, 7-6.

- AP