There was little trouble for the two title contenders playing on Center Court at Wimbledon on Wednesday with both Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal registering straight set victories against Dustin Brown and Donald Young respectively. Last time Brown featured on Center Court, he had sent Nadal packing in 2015. But on the third day at Wimbledon, he had no euphoric tale to tell and for all his flashy and extremely enthusiastic groundstrokes, Murray found an answer each time to progress into the third round where he will face Fabio Fognini. With the win, Murray maintained his record of having reached the third round of Wimbledon each year.
The maverick German for all his bravado, spirited and unconventional play, always found one more shot from Murray and the Briton cruised forward with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory at a partially sun-soaked Center Court. Brown who would produce delicate sliced approaches, audacious drop shots from the baseline, thumping drive volleys from mid-court and lobs galore once again enthralled the crowd with his exciting brand of tennis particularly in the opening set which was decided with a double fault on the Jamaican-turned-German’s serve in the ninth game.
But for all that Brown created and made Murray work for, he would squander as many or more with sometimes going for a bit too much. Even on match point, Brown went for an incredible drop shot on Murray’s serve while trying to move away from the body serve.
“Today I had the feeling it made no difference what I did,” Brown said. “If I stayed back, if I attacked, if I came in, if I chipped, if I hit the ball and came in. He pretty had much a good answer for everything. Against Rafa I did it for four sets and won the match but today I didn’t find a solution how to bother him at all. The pressure builds up. Makes you hit lines, makes you be very aggressive. Anything I did, just seemed like he didn’t really care. I hit good volleys but he had an answer for everything. As I told him at the end – just too good,” said Brown.
Donald Young tried his best and even tried to prolong the outcome by holding serve at 3-5 in the third set and chasing down everything that he could but in the end Nadal proved too much to handle for the American. Even at 5-4, as Nadal served for the match, Young let go of one break point as he hit a serve long but made the most of the second to bring the match level at 5-5 in the third. His backhand hit the top of the net and went over, past Nadal at the net, with nothing that the Spaniard could do.
Nadal didn’t let the outcome extend for too long with the light fading and he didn’t wish to keep the match going and rely on the roof to be introduced. A double fault by Young handed Nadal two break chances and Rafa needed just one to take the game with a forehand cross court winner. Serving for the match for a second time, Nadal didn’t have any trouble to get things done and move forward with a 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 win.
Marin Cilic started slowly, even handing Florian Mayer the advantage early on, but regained control of the match to move into the third round. The Croatian came out 7-6(2), 6-4, 7-5 victorious over the big serving German on Court 2 with sun scorching down on SW19.
Mayer had the opportunity to serve for the first set but Cilic finally found his game at the time to break back and bring the set to even footing. Cilic finally found his serve to send down three aces in the tiebreak to win the opening set.
In the second, the finalist at Queen’s Club two weeks back fired four big winners to break in the ninth game before serving out the set. Mayer led in the third set and served for the set, like in the first, at 5-3 but again Cilic came storming back to win four games in a row and sealed the deal with a trademark ace.
Kei Nishikori had to dig deep to beat 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) Sergiy Stakhovsky on Court 1. The ninth seeded Japanese player has had a good record at the other Grand Slams where he’s reached at least the quarterfinals but at Wimbledon his best showing remains the fourth round. He next faces Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut who ousted German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.