Rafael Nadal made it to the second week of Wimbledon for the first in the past three years. Last time he reached the final of the event was back in 2011 when he lost to Novak Djokovic. Being held almost immediately after the French Open's conclusion, Wimbledon gives only a few weeks for players to make the adjustments on their game. An extended winning streak on clay could be followed by a disappointing grass court delivery. For more than once, that was basically the way Nadal's season unfolded. Still, he managed to win twice back-to-back the title at French Open and Wimbledon (2008, 2010). Those years correspond with Rafael Nadal being the dominant player of the ATP professional tour.

Nadal faces Gilles Muller for a place in the quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal made no wrong moves in the first three rounds of Wimbledon. A solid game ensured him a smooth journey in the opening stages of the contest. As other title contenders (Federer or Djokovic), the Spaniard is yet to lose a single set at this tournament. Landing comfortably in the second week, he will have Gilles Müller as the opponent for the next match. The 34-year-old player from Luxembourg is ranked 26th in the world and has a negative record against Nadal. Their head to head puts Nadal in front with a 4-1 lead. Muller's only victory over the Spaniard occurred 12 years ago on the same grass courts at Wimbledon.

If he gets past Muller, Rafael Nadal's trajectory is likely to intersect with that of Marin Cilic.

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The Croatian player will face Roberto Bautista-Agut for a slot in the last eight stages. Cilic is a great player especially on a fast surface like grass where he can capitalize on his big powerful serve. Let's not forget that last year he had match points against Roger Federer in that epic five sets quarterfinal.

Nadal and Murray may face in the semis

When the draw came up, it was clear that Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are the ones who are likely to advance towards the higher stages. If he slides past Marin Cilic, Nadal will have a chance to knock down the defending champion. Moreover, the world no.1 spot is at stake given the fact that Nadal has nothing to defend from last Wimbledon.

It's impressive how he managed to reach another peak of form in a matter of months. Living constantly under Federer's shadow during the first few months of the season, once the Swiss player stepped aside, he put a strong foot in front. A dream run during the clay court swing propelled him back where he belongs.

It's impressive how he managed to reach another peak of form in a matter of months. Living constantly under Federer's shadow during the first few months of the season, once the Swiss player stepped aside, he put a strong foot in front. A dream run during the clay court swing propelled him back where he belongs.