Defending champ Nadal reaches 3rd round
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain eased into the third round of the French Open with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win against countryman Nicolas Almagro on Thursday.
Although the sixth-seeded Nadal had to save a break point in his opening service game, and was not always at his fluent best with his shot-making, he stepped up a gear in a dominant third set to secure his 13th win in 14 matches against Almagro.
Almagro showed admirable defensive qualities, saving three set points in the opening set. Nadal clinched it on serve with a crisp forehand winner and then broke Almagro at the start of the second set.
After saving two break points in the ninth game, Nadal hit two clean aces to move 5-4 ahead.
Nadal, dressed head to toe in electric blue, stood out on center court in somewhat gloomy and overcast conditions. He sealed victory in 2 hours, 19 minutes when Almagro stretched to return a powerful forehand down the line and swiped the ball out of court.
Meanwhile, Francesca Schiavone of Italy again showed more endurance than 18th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, beating her 6-7 (11), 7-5, 10-8 in a match lasting nearly four hours to reach the third round.
At the 2011 Australian Open, she beat the Russian player in the longest women’s match, by time, in Grand Slam history -- a 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 contest that lasted 4 hours, 44 minutes.
Schiavone saved six match points in that match, then converted on her third match point.
It did not last quite so long this time -- 3 hours, 50 minutes -- but Schiavone, who is 34 years old and won the French Open in 2010, needed to save one match point at 6-5 in the third set with a brilliant backhand winner.
She sealed victory when Kuznetsova -- a two-time Grand Slam champion who won here at Roland Garros in 2009 -- attempted a forehand drop shot that sank into the net, bringing to an end a topsy-turvy match featuring brilliant winners but also some sloppy serving, with a total of 18 breaks of serve.
Nishikori reaches fourth round
Japanese star Kei Nishikori qualified for the fourth round without stepping foot on the court, as his scheduled German opponent Benjamin Becker defaulted with a shoulder injury.
Wawrinka enters third round
Switzerland’s tennis player Stan Wawrinka qualified for the third round of Roland Garros after defeating Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
Roger Federer in third round
Swiss tennis player Roger Federer advanced to the men’s singles third round of Roland Garros after beating Spain’s Marcel Granollers 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-3.