Nadal wary of Wimbledon title rivals

The stunning form of Novak Djokovic in 2011 has seen him turn the perceived two-way battle between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the head of the game into a three-way contest, but Nadal insists that has always been the case.

Djokovic, hoping to embark on a new, long unbeaten run after his 43-game sequence came to an end at the French Open, resumes his tilt at the Wimbledon title against Kevin Anderson on Court One today.

Federer is also in action against Adrian Mannarino, with the pair looking to join Nadal and Andy Murray in the third round after their wins yesterday, but Nadal believes the tussle for titles has always been a multi-way battle, despite what the pundits may say.

"I always say the same, you see who your rivalries are at the end of the season, when we see if I finish five, six, one or two in the world," said Nadal, who beat Ryan Sweeting in straight sets yesterday.

"I have already played Novak in four finals this year, this is true, but Roger was there all the time, in semi-finals and finals. I understand people have to write things and create histories.

"Me and Roger had a big rivalry because we played each other a lot in finals of grand slams, in finals of important matches for a lot of years.

"With Novak the same is happening. We talk about Novak this year, but for the last four years he was number three in the world. He wasn't number 25. He was inside this rivalry.

"I consider Novak a rival. Andy Murray too. It is not always between two. I think there are a lot of players there. Between Andy, Novak, Roger and me, we have probably played the biggest matches in the last couple of years."

Murray secured a meeting with Ivan Ljubicic courtesy of a routine straight-sets win over German Tobias Hanke on Court One.

There was some surprise that Murray, the home favourite, was not placed on Centre Court so he could play under the roof as the rain fell, but he was not fazed by the decision.

"It doesn't bother me," he said. "I think all the players would rather be on Centre because you know you're going to get on, but the court's still the same.

"I don't mind playing on any court, Centre Court, Court One, Court Six, I don't care. I just want to try and win."

Away from Federer and Djokovic, one of today's most eye-catching games pits Robin Soderling against former winner Lleyton Hewitt on Centre Court.

Australian Hewitt is hardly the force he once was but is still a crowd puller, while Soderling will want to prove the gap between the 'Big Four' and him is not so wide.

Other winners yesterday included Andy Roddick, Tomas Berdych, Mardy Fish, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon, while Stanislas Wawrinka suffered a surprising exit at the hands of Dudi Sela.

The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas