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Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal Advance at Wimbledon 2017

EPA/PETER KLAUNZER

The Centre Court faithful got their money’s worth on Wednesday.

It started with a women’s singles thriller that went to 10-8 in the third set (with Johanna Konta outlasting Donna Vekic) and both of the men’s contests were played to completion–a veritable triumph compared to the second-set retirements that were handed to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic by their opponents during first-round action on Tuesday.

Defending champion and world No. 1 Andy Murray earned his second straight-set victory in a row, dismissing Dustin Brown 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the last 32. Murray rolled in one hour and 36 minutes while finishing with an amazing ratio of 31 winners to a mere five unforced errors.

“It was a good match from my end,” the Scot assured. “I served well until really the last few games. I returned well. I didn’t make many mistakes. I hit a lot of good passing shots. So I was really happy with it, obviously.”

“Most of the guys you play, you can try to find a way where you know you can hurt them,” Brown noted. “If you do it, the whole match is a different situation. But today I had the feeling it made no difference what I did. 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. That made it difficult.”

Donald Young did his best to make things difficult for Nadal, crushing forehands and progressing to the net on plenty of occasions. It worked to the tune of 11 games won, but the American did not have quite enough to snag a set. Nadal withstood a late charge by Young to get the job done 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 11 minutes.

Young’s 11 games were three more than any foe managed against the Spaniard throughout the entire fortnight at the French Open. Nadal’s most competitive–or least lopsided–affair on the red clay of Roland Garros was a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 second-round rout of Robin Haase.

Thirsting for more tennis, the Centre Court fans were sent into a frenzy when Young broke serve in the 10th game of set three to stay alive and reach 5-5. But that proved to be a wakeup call for Nadal, who bulldozed his way through the next two games and thus crossed the finish line while avoiding a fourth set that would have required a closed roof due to looming darkness.

“It was a good match again,” the world No. 2 commented. “Almost all the time (I was) more or less under control. It’s true that I had the inconvenience with losing the serve serving for the match. That’s the only moment. For the rest of the things, I think I played a solid match. In general terms, I am happy. I played well.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.