|Nationality||Player||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5|
- GAME SET AND MATCH RAFAEL NADAL! 6-7 6-1 6-1 6-1. The Spaniard seals it with another trademark inside out crosscourt forehand. That was a complete and utter mauling. Apart from, of course, that first set. That seems an awfully long time ago now, and actually seems quite bizarre given how one sided the following three sets were. Kukushkin fought well for a set. Nadal goes through to the fourth round.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 6-1 5-1 KUKUSHKIN. The final nail in the coffin, if another one was needed. Nadal rushes to 0-40 on the Kukushkin serve. The Kazakh knows the game is up, he's swinging wildly now. Gung-ho, I believe it's called. It works briefly but he then misses, handing Nadal another break and the chance to serve out the match.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 6-1 4-1 KUKUSHKIN. That's just far too good! At 30-15 Nadal is on the run but tracks the ball down and whips his racquet like a lasso, sending the ball fizzing down the line, into the corner, and out of the reach of Kukushkin. The Kazakh can't return Nadal's serve at 40-15 and the Spaniard edges closer to victory.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 6-1 3-1 KUKUSHKIN. Kukushkin is having to work so hard for every point. It must be demoralising for him at times. But he hangs in there on break point down, slugging it out from the baseline with the greatest slugger of them all and coming out on top. At deuce though he throws in an unforgiveablely sloppy forehand unforced error that sails long. Not good enough against Rafa, I'm afraid. A string of deuces ensues and the Kukushkin second serve is simply not good enough. It's getting punished but the Kazakh finds enough first serves to get across the line. Boy was that a struggle.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 6-1 3-0 KUKUSHKIN. What's this? Break points on the Nadal serve? Who saw that coming? Rafa shanks a forehand to bring up 15-40 and the first break points he's had to face today. Kukushkin is wasteful, though. His returns from that point on are simply awful. The glimmer of hope disappears and normaliy is resumed.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 6-1 2-0 KUKUSHKIN. Oh no, he's break point down again and the Centre Court crowd are growing uneasy about the scale of this mauling. Big cheers as he saves it but hold on, Nadal has another one. No sympathy from the Spaniard. He takes it. Cue the most muted of muted applause.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 6-1 1-0 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal holds comfortably, obviously, to get the fourth set underway. Big service game coming up for Kukushkin. Is there any fight left?
- This stat is a corker and tells the story of the match. Kukushkin's winner count - 1st set: 17, 2nd set: 5, 3rd set: 2.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 6-1 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal breaks again and takes the third set. Traffic has never been so one way.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 5-1 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal holds to 15 and is looking as deadly as ever behind his first serve. Kukushkin to serve to stay in the set.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 4-1 KUKUSHKIN. How the complexion of this match has changed. Kukushkin was surprising everyone with his level of tennis in the first set but he can't reproduce that level at the moment. At the same time, Nadal is getting stronger, missing less and remorselessly turning the screw. The gulf in class is now making itself apparent. Kukushkin's serve eventally crumbles and Nadal has a double break.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 3-1 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal impressively plucks the ball out of the air as it comes over from Kukushkin following a call 'long'. The camera hones in on Tendulkar and Tuffers in the Royal Box - they'd have been proud of that one. Nadal kicks on for a comfortable hold.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 2-1 KUKUSHKIN. Kukushkin stops the rot. At 40-15 he's looking good but an outrageous crosscourt backhand return from Nadal helps peg the score back to deuce. The Kazakh digs in and gets over the line, getting himself moving in the third set.
- Nadal has won 7 games in a row now.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 2-0 KUKUSHKIN. It's another love service game for Nadal. It's too easy at the moment. All the momentum is with the Spaniard.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 1-0 KUKUSHKIN. You can't help but feel this match is only going one way now. Kukushkin looks weary and slips at 0-15. He's ok, but he's 0-30 down now. He claws his way back to 30-30 but Nadal hits a forehand winner. On break point it's the forehand again that does the damage - Kukushkin can't get the ball back over the net. It's another Nadal break at the start of this third set.
- NADAL 6-7 6-1 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal serves for the set and does so successfully with no trouble whatsoever. It's a love game and he's back on track here, one set apiece.
- NADAL 6-7 5-1 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal wants a double break, he's hungry now. Kukushkin keeps him at bay with a big serve at 15-30 but the Spaniard puts away a forehand winner and it's another break point. And he takes it! And how! He runs round his backhand to the extent that he's way wide of and behind the baseline when he unleashes that trademark inside out crosscourt forehand. It's a winner - of course it is - and it's a double break.
- NADAL 6-7 4-1 KUKUSHKIN. Kukushkin brings up 15-30 with a wonderful crosscourt backhand that zips of the line before Nadal can react. He wastes a glorious opportunity at 30-30, though, with a sloppy forehand. We go to deuce and on advantage Nadal produces a timely big serve to back up his break.
- NADAL 6-7 3-1 KUKUSHKIN. Told you so! Knew that would happen. That's why I pointed out the stat - to make it happen. Yes, we have a break point, you're welcome. Not break point singular but break points plural. The first comes and goes but Kukushkin nets on the second. Nadal draws blood in the second set with the first break of the match.
- That said, Kukushkin hasn't been truly troubled on serve either - there have been a big fat 0 break points in this match. We'll get one in the next game now I've said that.
- NADAL 6-7 2-1 KUKUSHKIN. An easy love hold for Nadal - his service games have been much more straight forward affairs than Kukushkin's.
- NADAL 6-7 1-1 KUKUSHKIN. He's down again! Centre Court gasps as Nadal loses his footing for the second time today, and this time it's far more dramatic. He has an anguished look on his face as he lies on the grass. He's not there for long, though, and everything seems ok. He takes Kukushkin to deuce but another forehand down the line from Kukushkin finds the baseline on advantage.
- NADAL 6-7 1-0 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal's brow is furrowed. He's not best pleased about this. 'I'm one of the greatest of all time why are all these minnows landing punches on me?' You've just got to suck it up and get on with the job, Rafa, as you did admirably in your previous two matches. He holds to kick off the second set.
- NADAL 6-7 (4-7) KUKUSHKIN. He's got it! And it's happened again! Nadal loses the opening set, as he has done in both of his previous rounds. The first set point goes begging for Kukushkin but Nadal goes long on the second and his troubles continue. Fantastic set from Kukushkin - this match has a fascinating complexion now.
- NADAL 6-6 (3-6) KUKUSHKIN. Another forehand winner from Kukushkin! This time it's an inside crosscourt forehand. Nadal hits an ace but Kukushkin still has a minibreak. The Kazakh hits an unreturnable serve, Nadal then nets and we have set points!
- NADAL 6-6 (2-3) KUKUSHKIN. The Kazakh spanks an unlikely crosscourt forehand winner - too good. But then Nadal equals him with a brutal forehand winner of his own. Back on serve.
- NADAL 6-6 (1-2) KUKUSHKIN. Kukushkin serves first in the breaker but puts a backhand wide. He wrestles the minibreak right back with a fierce return then moves a minibreak up himself with some fantastic work on the forehand side.
- NADAL 6-6 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal is equally impervious to the tension, producing his third straight love service game. Both men have stubbornly refused to be broken so far so we'll settle this the hard way. Breaker.
- NADAL 5-6 KUKUSHKIN. "Tighten up?! Come off it, mate!" laughs Kukushkin as he whips out his phone on the change of ends to keep track of this live report. There are no sign of nerves en route to 40-0 and although Nadal pegs him back to 40-30, a big serve gets it done and puts the pressure back on the Spaniard.
- NADAL 5-5 KUKUSHKIN. The first point of this game is a great exchange, Nadal coming to the net and batting away a ball that was venomously fired straight at him. After that it's a straightforward hold, again to love. We're well and truly at the business end of this first set - don't tighten up, Kukushkin!
- NADAL 4-5 KUKUSHKIN. Another forehand down the line flies off Kukushkin's racquet and past Nadal. He's quickly on his way to 40-15, whereupon Nadal puts it into the net. The Spaniard will now have to serve to stay in the set. Good stuff.
- NADAL 4-4 KUKUSHKIN. A love hold for Nadal as Kukushkin struggles on the return, never really getting himself into any of those points.
- NADAL 3-4 KUKUSHKIN. Fair play to Kukushkin, that forehand is a beast. Once again he opens his body out and unleashes a winner at 15-0. Just as I write that, the game becomes littered with Kukushkin forehand errors. Typical. A few deuces now as he can't see it through but in the end he comes up with a marvellous crosscourt backhand on the run. Nadal can't get it back and the Kazakh has his nose back in front.
- NADAL 3-3 KUKUSHKIN. At 15-15 Kukushkin plays a sweet, sweet point, dragging Nadal from side to side before coming to the net to finish him off. He would be applying pressure on Nadal, were it not for the Spaniard's serve, which keeps the heat off here, and an ace levels the scoreboard.
- The BBC spend the change of ends showing off some fancy graphics that essentially tell us that the ball bounces lower on grass than it does on clay. Groundbreaking.
- NADAL 2-3 KUKUSHKIN. At 30-15 HawkEye is woken from its slumber and called into action for the first time today on Centre Court. It reckons Nadal's forehand that was called long did in fact catch the line. Replay the point. It's a 16 shot rally, the longest of the match so far, and we all know who's going to come out on top when that happens. Nadal, though, is sloppy on the next point and a forehand winner seals the game for Kukushkin.
- NADAL 2-2 KUKUSHKIN. Nadal can't quite hold to love, but he does hold to 15 in convincing fashion, Kukushkin missing regularly on the return.
- NADAL 1-2 KUKUSHKIN. Another game another ridiculous forehand from Kukushkin, this time a running crosscourt passing shot, looping and with an angle that defies logic. It's not a flash in the pan this time, and he goes on to hold to love. Great start.
- NADAL 1-1 KUKUSHKIN. Kukushkin spanks a ridiculous forehand winner at 15-0, didn't see that coming, did you, Rafa? But that's about the only thing that troubles the Spaniard on his way to a comfortable hold, finished off with a dart to the net and a neat volley. Both men up and running on he scoreboard.
- NADAL 0-1 KUKUSHKIN. Rafa is on his backside on the very first point, slipping perhaps due to the rain that fell before they were able to shut that roof. It's not at all serious and he gets up, dusts himself off and proceeds to 15-30 on the Kukushkin serve. The Kazakh comes back to 40-30 but can't quite get it done and we have a couple of deuces. An ace followed by a kicking second serve see him take the first game.
13:25 - You may not be too familiar with Rafa's opponent today. Born in Russia, he changed nationality to Kazakhstan. He's ranked 63 in the world and before this year he had never won a match in the main draw at Wimbledon. I'd also go as far as to guess he is the player with the most K's in his names on the pro circuit. Can he cause Nadal another hiccup?
13:15 - Rafael Nadal has reached the third round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2011. Just let that one sink in for a minute...
13:10 - The players aren't out on court just yet. First we have to wait until Sue Barker has finished introducing every single person sat in the Royal Box. It's alright, though, as today it's crammed full of sporting figures, rather than the usual array of toffs. Everyone from Sachin Tendulkar to Becks and Wiggo is getting a fantastic ovation and it's great to see.
13:00 - Good afternoon! The rain may be falling at SW19 but on Centre Court we have that magical invention known as a roof. Yes, the rain won't be able to touch the grass on Centre and it certainly won't be able to stop us bringing you LIVE coverage of the third round clash between Rafael Nadal and Mikhail Kukushkin.
|Date of Birth||26/12/1987|
|Date of Birth||03/06/1986|