Reuters - Thu, 24 Jun 19:29:00 2010
World number one Rafael Nadal was forced to battle for Wimbledon survival before extinguishing Dutch firebrand Robin Haase with a 5-7 6-2 3-6 6-0 6-3 second round victory.
The 2008 champion found the resolve to come through a stern examination from the unshaven, tousled 23-year-old Haase who, like Nadal, has struggled with a troublesome knee injury that has stymied his career.
Champion Roger Federer struggled during his first two rounds and it was Nadal's turn to flirt with danger. But his will to win and greater experience on grass finally ended Haase's challenge on Centre Court.
The number two seed will now take on 33rd seed Philipp Petzschner in the third round, after the German battle back from two sets to one down to beat Poland's Lukasz Kubot 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-2.
Sixth seed Robin Soderling conjured up another rapid-fire rout to book his place in the third round at Wimbledon with a 7-5 6-1 6-4 victory over Spain's Marcel Granollers.
The twice French Open finalist, who has never gone beyond the last 16 at the All England Club, muscled his way to the first set in 36 minutes before steamrollering his opponent.
The Swede, who is playing his first tournament since losing to Rafa Nadal in the Roland Garros final earlier this month, has not dropped a set in the opening two rounds and looks a sound bet to progress deep into the second week.
Soderling now faces the 25th seed Thomaz Bellucci in the third round after the Brazilian dispatched Austrian Martin Fisher 6-7(11) 7-6(4) 7-6(1) 6-2.
Tenth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga scraped past Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov in a mini-epic to reach the third round.
At three hours 55 minutes Tsonga's 6-4 6-4 6-7(5) 5-7 10-8 victory was a lengthy affair but paled into insignificance compared to the 11 hours and five minutes John Isner needed to beat Nicolas Mahut.
It should have been easier for the Frenchman who appeared in total control before the world number 43 hit back to level and force a decider.
Fans on Court Two were getting ready for another extended slugfest before Tsonga revived himself to end the contest.
Tsonga now takes on Tobias Kamke, after the German beat Italy's Andreas Seppi 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.