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Haase gives Rafa a scare

London: World No.1 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 on Thursday.

The 2008 champion found the resolve to come through a stern examination from the 23-year-old Haase who, like Nadal, has struggled with a troublesome knee injury that has stymied his career.

In the women’s singles, former champion Maria Sharapova cruised into the third round with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Romania’s Ioana Raluca Olaru. The Russian also exited at the same stage in 2008, a huge letdown for a player who won the title as a 17-year-old in 2004.

In another close encounter, 10thseed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France scraped past Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in three hours 55 minutes. The score was 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 5-7, 10-8 in Tsonga’s favour. Tsonga now takes on Tobias Kamke.

Britain’s Andy Murray turned in a majestic performance against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen under the gaze of Queen Elizabeth II at Wimbledon on Thursday to surge into the third round without the loss of a set. The Briton won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

In doubles, Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi beat Maximo Gonzalez and Sebastian Prieto 7-5, 6-1, 7-5. (Reuters)

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