Paula Badosa hits a return shot in her second round match against Irina Bara. / AFP

Spanish players find varying degrees of success at Wimbledon

Rafa Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Paula Badosa are in the third round, though Garbiñe Muguruza and Roberto Bautista failed to advance

SHAY CONAGHAN MALAGA.

Spanish players Rafa Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Paula Badosa are so far doing well at the All England Tennis Club and by Thursday had booked their place in Wimbledon's third round. Others, such as Garbiñe Muguruza and Roberto Bautista, have had a harder time progressing to the tournament's latter rounds.

A month after winning his record-breaking 14th French Open title and 22nd Grand Slam, Rafa Nadal made his return. After struggling to shake off a foot injury, his 2022 Wimbledon debut was far from ideal, as he had a first-round scare against Francisco Cerúndolo; he dropped a set when he was 2-0 up, but ultimately prevailed against his Argentine opponent to win 6-4, 6-3, 3-6 and 6-4.

Nadal played his second-round game on Thursday afternoon against Ricardas Berankis. The Spaniard was winning by two sets to one when rain stopped play but eventually won 6-4, 6-4, 4-6 and 6-3. He will next face Lorenzo Sonego on Saturday.

Young hopeful

Jan-Lennard Struff had Carlos Alcaraz playing his best tennis in the first round. The Spaniard closed out a complex match whose five sets swung back and forth between the two players, with Alcaraz eventually winning 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 (7) and 6-4.

In the following round, the young Spaniard found less resistance in Tallon Griekspoor, who he steamrolled in straight sets to win 6-4, 7-6 (7) and 6-3. He will face Oscar Otte on Friday for his place in the round of 16.

Women's tournament

Paula Badosa also breezed through the first couple of rounds. The highest-ranked female Spanish player had no problems beating Louisa Chirico 6-2 and 6-1, giving her American opponent almost no chance at countering her.

Badosa also showed Irina Bara no mercy in the following round on Thursday, the Spaniard once again winning in straight sets (6-3 and 6-2), though the Romanian didn't totally give in. Badosa will play her third-round match against Petra Kvitová on Saturday.

Unsuccessful runs

Spain's Roberto Bautista had high hopes going into Wimbledon after making it to the final at the Mallorca Open. He got his run off to a good start by breezing past Attila Balázs 6-1, 6-0 and 6-3, but a positive Covid test meant that the veteran Spaniard had to pull out from his second-round appearance against Daniel Galán.

Garbiñe Muguruza, who has had a bad 2022 with just eight wins (only one at a Grand Slam) and eleven defeats, crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round. Muguruza, who won Wimbledon in 2017, seemed to be no match for Greet Minnen and lost 6-4 and 6-0.