Rafael Nadal’s navigation through a tricky first week at Wimbledon has left him feeling confident.
Nadal was in masterful form as he destroyed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to make the second week at SW19 for the third year running.
The Spaniard has not won the trophy since 2010 but is looking every inch the title contender after following up his tense battle against Nick Kyrgios with an imperious 6-2 6-3 6-2 win over the Frenchman on Centre Court.
He remains on course for a blockbusting semi-final with Roger Federer, a possibility which seemed unlikely when, due to his shift in seeding, he was handed a testing draw.
Nadal is generally at his most vulnerable in the first week, as he transitions from clay to grass, but there have been no such problems this year.
“It is important that after the tough draw I was able to find a way to be in the second week,” he said.
“That gives me some positive feelings. Tomorrow I have one more day off to practice.
“It was not a big physical challenge today, so tomorrow is a day to keep working a little bit hard on some specific things.
“In general terms, it was an amazing, positive win.”
After the intensity of that win over Kyrgios, Nadal will be grateful for the trouble-free nature of this triumph, which was never in doubt as soon as he took his first break to lead 3-1.
The first set was sealed with a second break, to take it 6-2 in 34 minutes.
Tsonga is fifth on the list of players with the most wins over Nadal, but he was never going to add to that, and the 33-year-old’s solitary break in the second set allowed him to take it 6-3.
Nadal was in the zone and back-to-back breaks in the third made it the easiest of afternoons as he wrapped it up in one hour and 48 minutes.