LONDON -- The rain came late on Day 4 of Wimbledon, but not before Rafael Nadal exorcized his demons on Centre Court and the youth movement gathered steam with some impressive upsets.
Rafael Nadal got his revenge over Lukas Rosol: For a while it looked like 2012 all over again. Rosol was full of belief when he took the court; early in the match, he thwacked the ball for winners at will and pounded aces. He won the first set, and then earned had a minibreak advantage in the second-set tiebreaker only to lose it. That helped Nadal realize that no, this was not 2012 -- it's 2014 and lightning wasn't going to strike twice. Nadal went on to win 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-4 and advance to the third round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2011.
The world No. 1 has only two other seeds remaining in his quarter after Richard Gasquet, Phillipp Kohlschreiber and Gael Monfils all lost. Nadal, who now has two confidence-boosting wins under his belt, looks like a lock for the semifinals. He plays Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round.
John Isner played the second-longest tiebreaker in Wimbledon history: What is it about Isner and Wimbledon? The guy just wants to set outlandish records at the All England Club. The No. 1 American came a few points shy of playing the longest tiebreaker in Wimbledon history against Jarkko Nieminen, but he'll have to settle for second place. Not that he'll mind. He was able to win his first set breaker against Jarkko Nieminen 19-17 and then secure a straight set win 7-6 (17), 7-6 (3), 7-5 to advance to the third round.
Nick Kyrgios mounted an epic comeback to beat No. 14 Richard Gasquet: The 19-year-old Australian wildcard saved nine match points and came back from two-sets to love down to earn the biggest win of his career. Get to know him, cause he'll be around much more. Next, he'll play 20-year-old Jiri Vesely, who held his nerve to oust a lackadaisical Gael Monfils 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-7 (3), 6-4.
Serena Williams cruised to a win in just 49 minutes: While all the televisions in the press center were tuned into Nadal-Rosol, Kyrgios-Gasquet and Vesely-Monfils, Serena blasted her way to an easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Chanelle Scheepers, hitting 26 winners, eight aces and just eight unforced errors. She's typically most vulnerable in the early rounds, but through two matches she's lost just five games. Maria Sharapova also advanced with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Timea Baczinsky.
No drama for Federer: This could have been a tricky match against the serve-and-volleying Gilles Muller for Federer, but he came through under the Centre Court roof with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win. The most interesting aspect of the match turned out to be the fact that both Federer and Muller have sons named Lenny who were born on May 6.
American women continued their charge on grass: Serena and Venus Williams are joined in the third round by fellow Americans Madison Keys, Lauren Davis and Alison Riske, marking the most American women into the third round at Wimbledon since 2005 (and Victoria Duval has yet to play, since her match against Belinda Bencic was called off due to the late rain). Keys beat No. 31 Klara Koukalova in three sets, and Riske knocked out Camila Giorgi in straight sets.
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I joke I joke Great game! Well done @RafaelNadal— Lukas Rosol (@Lukas_Rosol) June 26, 2014
Nadal hasn't had an unforced error since the second game of the SECOND set. They're now in the fourth...unreal— Howard Bryant (@hbryant42) June 26, 2014
Serena in full diva mode during press, complains about length of 10-minute conference and subject of questions. #wimbledon2014— Douglas Robson (@dougrobson) June 26, 2014
He came, he saw, he was entertainingly inexplicable for 5 sets, he lost. #monfils— Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor) June 26, 2014
Think if I drove in London I'd have to have something like this. How do you guys do it? pic.twitter.com/gP7bCJg1Wg— Nick Bollettieri (@NickBollettieri) June 26, 2014