Nadal and Djokovic stay on course as Gulbis sinks Zverev

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Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic claimed contrasting wins to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon on Saturday, as Alexander Zverev once again failed to make it to the second week of a grand slam.

Nadal - the second seed at the All England Club - breezed past Alex de Minaur on Centre Court, dropping just seven games in a victory that guarantees he will remain world number one at the conclusion of the tournament.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic was given a much sterner test by home favourite Kyle Edmund, yet looked impressive as he came from behind to triumph 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.

Djokovic and Nadal remain on course to meet in the semi-finals, but Zverev will play no part in the latter stages after slumping to a five-set defeat at the hands of qualifier Ernests Gulbis, who rounded off their contest with a bagel.

A three-time Masters 1000 champion, Zverev has only made the quarter-finals of a solitary slam - this year's French Open.

Gulbis will meet Kei Nishikori on Monday, the Japanese having beaten Nick Kyrgios, while Juan Martin Del Potro, Milos Raonic, Karen Khachanov, Gilles Simon and Jiri Vesely are also through to the last 16.

 

DON'T ASK ME ...

Gulbis had words of encouragement for Zverev after their match, telling reporters: "I think that he's a future Grand Slam winner. I mean, the way he plays. He will find his way."

However, the Latvian - ranked 138th in the world but a former top-10 player - was then asked what Zverev was missing.

"I don't know," replied Gulbis. "I'm not his coach."

 

KYRGIOS MYSTIFIED BY POOR PERFORMANCE

Fifteenth seed Kyrgios lost in straight sets to Nishikori, winning just one game in the opener.

Asked to explain his underwhelming display, the Australian said: "As soon as I got out there, I just didn't feel good. I don't know what it was.

"I was pretty uptight. A lot of nerves. I just struggled with a lot of things. I just never settled.

"I guess I just kind of panicked a little bit. I don't know. I don't really know how to describe it."

 

RAFA AND NOVAK STAY ON COLLISION COURSE

Next up for Djokovic and Nadal are respective fourth-round matches against Karen Khachanov and Jiri Vesely.

Nishikori is then a potential last-eight opponent for Djokovic, while Nadal could come up against fifth seed Del Potro in the quarter-finals.

Should the Serbian and Spaniard each make it to the last four, they will then go head-to-head. Roger Federer is the overwhelming favourite to reach the final from the other half of the draw, which also features Raonic, John Isner and Kevin Anderson.