• Rafa Nadal is playing in the Wimbledon after three years
  • He defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets in the Round of 16
  • Nadal has already won two Grand Slams this year

Rafael Nadal has said his upcoming Wimbledon quarter-final against Taylor Fritz is "going to be a tough match."

After dropping a set in his opening two matches of Wimbledon 2022, Nadal won in straight sets in his previous two outings in Center-Court. He defeated 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6) to qualify for the last-eight round in his third consecutive outing in the All England Club. Nadal, who is competing in Wimbledon for the first time since 2019, suffered semi-final losses in the 2018 and 2019 editions.

Nadal, who is set to play his eighth Wimbledon quarter-final, will next take on Fritz. The latter defeated Australia's Jason Kubler comfortably in straight sets as he lost just eight games Monday.

"He's playing well, he's having an amazing year, winning his first Masters 1000 — against me, by the way, in the final. It's going to be a tough match, but we are in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon so what can I expect?" Nadal told ATP after his win in the Round of 16 on Monday.

Fritz and Nadal came face to face earlier this year in the final of Indian Wells. The American player won that match. By doing so, Fritz not only clinched his maiden Masters title but also ended Nadal's record winning streak of 21 games. The Spaniard had gone into the Indian Wells event with two ATP titles and a Grand Slam victory.

The 36-year-old won two Grand Slams already this year, taking his tally to 22 major titles, two more than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. While Federer is currently out of action, defending champion Djokovic has also made it to the quarters of Wimbledon.

"I continued in a positive way. I think, until the end [when] I played a bad game at 5-3, [it] had been a very positive match against a difficult opponent. Botic has been improving unbelievably in the last year, so huge congratulations to him this amazing improvement," Nadal said after his Round of 16 victory.

King of the court: Is Rafael Nadal on his way to a 23rd Grand Slam title?
King of the court: Is Rafael Nadal on his way to a 23rd Grand Slam title? AFP / SEBASTIEN BOZON

The two-time Wimbledon champion went on to add that he was "very happy" about qualifying for the last eight, especially since he is playing in the tournament after three years.

"In a personal way, after all the things that happened the last couple of months, to be able to be in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon after three years without playing here [since 2019], it's amazing for me, so [I'm] very, very happy," added Nadal.