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Page last updated at 20:14 GMT, Saturday, 28 June 2008 21:14 UK

Kiefer v Nadal as it happened

Men's singles third round result:

N KIEFER (Ger) 27 v R NADAL (Sp) 2 *

6-7 (3-7) 2-6 3-6

* denotes server


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By Ian Westbrook at Wimbledon

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 3-6 Nadal
A Kiefer lob is called out after a rally and the smiling German has run out of challenges so can't question the call, much as he wants to. For those of us with a TV monitor, Hawk-Eye shows it was out anyway. It is the last big moment for the 27th seed as Nadal takes the next three points to wrap up victory after two hours, 21 minutes at 2111 BST.

The crowd are on their feet giving him a standing ovation which is thoroughly deserved after a good performance. Although there was nothing to choose between the players in the first set, Nadal stepped it up after that and there was only going to be one winner.

Will Spain make it a double triumph in the Euro final against Germany on Sunday night only time will tell.

And that wraps up the live first week match action from us - come back on Monday when we will provide live coverage of the pick of the day's fourth round ties in the men's and women's singles.

Thanks for your contributions and enjoy the Wimbledon rest day on Sunday.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 3-5 Nadal
What's going on? Kiefer produces two blistering aces to ramp up the atmosphere and although he nets after a rally, he leaves a Nadal return which is long and then hits yet another ace to take the game and cut the deficit to just two games.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 2-5 Nadal
A healthy crowd is still inside Centre Court as Kiefer takes the first point on the Nadal serve. The Spaniard hits back but Kiefer suddenly produces the form he showed in the firs set and plays three superb points to get the break. Who said he was delaying the inevitable....

The whole crowd engage in a Mexican wave as the players sit in their chairs but suddenly they are back and it is Kiefer to serve once again.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 1-5 Nadal
Kiefer comes out to try to save the match, as BBC Sport's Sarah Holt arrives in the commentary box with tonight's stir fries. The smell of the food may inspire the German as he produces his 10th ace, double the number Nadal has served, as he takes the game. It looks though like he is only delaying the inevitable.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 0-5 Nadal
They are racing through this now and a brilliant shot from Nadal clinches the match and means he is a game away from the fourth round.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 0-4 Nadal
The time the match finishes seems irrelevant now as although Kiefer manages two points on his serve, another break from Nadal takes him closer to victory.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 0-3 Nadal
Kiefer has not given up yet and gets to 30 on the Nadal serve for the first time since the first set. Nadal opens him up with another serve and quickly puts away his return and, as the light begins to fade once again on Centre Court, yet another failed challenge from Kiefer means Nadal has served his fourth ace and gone 3-0 up.

At the changeover Kiefer asks the umpire in French how much longer they can play in this light and is told they can continue for another 30 minutes. The time is now 2048 BST and the players have been on court for two minutes short of two hours.

Having been here in our Centre Court commentary box at this time last night to see the end of the Ancic-Ferrer match I have to say the light is positively shining now compared to how it was then.

Boris Becker

"It seems the longer the match progresses, Nadal gets stronger and stronger."
Boris Becker in the BBC commentary box

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 0-2 Nadal
Nadal takes the first point on the Kiefer serve with a smash after yet another entertaining rally but Kiefer replies with his seventh ace. Kiefer makes another mistake to go 15-30 down and the statistic that he has made 20 unforced errors to Nadal's eight shows why the match is going like this. Kiefer cannot get to a return from Nadal that plops over the net and although one goes begging when a Nadal forehand goes wide, the Spaniard breaks when Kiefer serves a double fault - his challenge to the call for the second serve to no avail. This could be it for the German now.

Boris Becker

"You can't make unforced errors against a player like Nadal, who is impressing me more and more. It is going to be an interesting second week as he is playing a lot better than last year."
Boris Becker in the BBC commentary box

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 0-1 Nadal
Kiefer gives himself a chance in Nadal's opening service game of the third set as he leads 15-0 and 30-15. Nadal snatches a 40-30 lead with a superb volleyed dink over the net and he takes the game when Kiefer nets.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-6 Nadal
Nadal is on fire now and moves two sets ahead after taking all four points on the Kiefer serve. The set took just 27 minutes and it looks difficult for Kiefer now.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-5 Nadal
A cracking backhand lights up this game to take Nadal to 30-0 and he almost wins the next point after somehow managing to chip the ball back over the net while sitting on the ground after slipping close to the net. Kiefer takes it but it is his only one as Nadal moves to within a game of a two-set lead.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 2-4 Nadal
Kiefer finds his rhythm with his serve once again and he produces his sixth and seventh aces, the first at a speed of 130mph, on his way to comfortably holding to 15, taking the last point after winning a challenge.

"Oligold I totally agree with you. I was thinking, we could see Nadal humiliating Fed the same way he did at RG. Now that is a scary thought but it could happen again. Nadal is playing over the top. A train without brakes!"
elche2002 on 606 (see comment at 5-4 in the first set)

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 1-4 Nadal
The match is really picking up pace now and Nadal is really starting to get on top. He quickly wins the first two ponts and although Kiefer responds with a neat passing shot, Nadal produces an even better one of his own and then wraps up with an unreturnable serve.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 1-3 Nadal
A Nadal return finds the bare grass behind the baseline to get Kiefer under way in this game but a superb backhand passing shot brings him level. Kiefer determinedly pulls out a serve to which Nadal cannot respond and he holds to 30 to finally get on the board in this set.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 0-3 Nadal
Nadal seems to have stepped up a gear now and wins the game to love - the highlight being a lovely drop shot to go 30-0 up. Just six minutes into the set and he is 3-0 up.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 0-2 Nadal
Centre Court was packed for the first set but quite a few people seem to have decided to now head for home. Kiefer starts to make unforced errors one of which sees him go long with a return to allow Nadal to level at 30-30. He then nets to give Nadal his second break point of the match and he finds the net again to give the crowd favourite the first break of the match.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) 0-1 Nadal
Nadal quickly builds on his advantage to wrap up a routine game to 15 and we have now seen 13 service games in this match without a break.

Kiefer 6-7 (3-7) Nadal
Kiefer holds his serve to start the tiebreak after Nadal miscues his shot after a long baseline rally and Nadal responds with an example of serve and volley to level. It is 2-1 to Nadal after Kiefer's return just goes long and then the second seed gets the first mini-break after Kiefer's baseline shot finds the tramlines. Kiefer stays in it after Nadal's shot in a rally is just too wide but they change ends with Nadal 4-2 up after the 27th seed cannot reach another powerful blow from the Spaniard. He moves 5-2 ahead after a delicate shot at the net after yet another long exchange and Nadal has four set points after Kiefer nets. Kiefer saves one after Nadal cannot return his serve but the Spaniard takes the set 7-3 after the German can only find the net after a rally.

That set took one hour, 13 minutes and the time is 1957 BST. Will it be a late-night finale or will the match to over to Monday? We shall see....

Kiefer 6-6 Nadal
A powerful forehand gets Nadal under way and a Kiefer error, a backhand winner and an ace mean that after 57 minutes action we reach the tiebreak.

Kiefer 6-5 Nadal
Kiefer makes and loses his first challenge of the match but shrugs it off to hold to 30 with another ace. Not only do we face the prospect of a first set tiebreak but also another late-night finish like we had with the Ancic and Safin matches on Friday night.
Marathon wins for Ancic and Safin

Kiefer 5-5 Nadal
One end of Centre Court is bathed in sunlight but the famous arena is in shadow everywhere else as Kiefer takes the first point and can suddenly sniff a chance to take the set. However Nadal knows differently and concedes only one more point as he holds his serve for the fifth time.

Kiefer 5-4 Nadal
It's now Nadal's turn to change his racket in an effort to force the first break of the match. Kiefer however dominates the game and is increasingly coming forward to finish off rallies as he wins it to 15. You begin to feel that this game will be settled in the tiebreak.

In the changeover Nadal sends a ball-boy off with one of his rackets to get it restrung.

"It must be frightening to play against Nadal - the consistency and power of his groundstrokes is unbelievable."
Oligold11 on 606

Kiefer 4-4 Nadal
Nadal throws away a 40-0 lead, which included his second ace of the match, to allow Kiefer to level after the first double-fault of the match and a winner for the German after another tremendously long rally. Nadal goes long to give Kiefer his first break point at advantage, which Nadal saves after coming to the net and the second seed finally closes out the game with another ace.

Kiefer 4-3 Nadal
A mixed game for Kiefer as he again holds his serve. Twice he produces the fastest serve of the match of 136mph and then after four unforced errors give Nadal the first break point of the match at advantage, Kiefer saves it and then serves out the game.

Kiefer 3-3 Nadal
Kiefer changes his racket after going 30-0 down and it makes the difference as Nadal misses two forehands after long rallies and the game is back level at 30-30. Nadal's first ace gives him game point and Kiefer can only net from close range and that's that.

Kiefer 3-2 Nadal
The best rally of the match so far, which must have featured at least 20 shots, sees Nadal move 30-15 up and Kiefer's serve is threatened for the first time. The 27th seed stays calm though and two serves prove too much for Nadal before a sweet backhand seals the game.

Kiefer 2-2 Nadal
Nadal moves 40-15 ahead, winning one point after a netcord, and takes the game after Kiefer goes wide on a return - 2-2 and a solid start for both players.

Kiefer 2-1 Nadal
Kiefer produces his second ace of the match but wastes it by going long in the next exchange. As the shadows lengthen on Centre Court Kiefer moves 40-15 up after serving his second ace but Nadal responds to force the first deuce of the match. Kiefer produces his fourth ace of the match and then his serve again proves too much for the second seed.

Kiefer 1-1 Nadal
Nadal produces an amazing half-volley from the sideline after a powerful baseline shot from Kiefer, who is back in the game after Nadal's shot in the next rally goes out. However Nadal wraps up the game when Kiefer's next return of serve goes out, he then finds the net after another baseline rally and fails to return the next serve.

Kiefer 1-0 Nadal
Kiefer starts with an ace but Nadal responds with a cute drop shot over the net to level after a rally. Nadal's next return of serve goes out and Kiefer goes 40-15 up when the Spaniard nets after another exchange of baseline shots. Kiefer takes the game when Nadal nets his next serve.

1848: Tunisia's Adel Aref is the chair umpire and the players are about to finish their warm-up. Kiefer won the toss and has elected to serve. Off we go!

Boris Becker

"Kiefer is very comfortable on grass so it is the first real test for Nadal at this championship."
Boris Becker in the BBC commentary box

1838: Kiefer has actually had a slightly better Wimbledon this year than Nadal so far in that he has not dropped a set while Nadal lost the first set of his second round encounter with Ernest Gulbis.

1835: So after that victory for Andy Murray it is time for the ever-popular Rafael Nadal to continue his campaign against Nicolas Kiefer.

A prelude to tomorrow's Spain-Germany clash in the Euro 2008 final, this Spanish-German meeting between the two seeds is their third encounter on court this year.

Nadal has won both the previous two matches - in Miami and then in the Davis Cup so Kiefer will be out for revenge.

see also
Nadal on course after solid win
28 Jun 08 |  Tennis

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