French Open: Nadal in Ruthless Streak, Djokovic Cruises
The 2017 French Open is beginning to take shape as title rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic breezed into the last 32 on Wednesday.
Nadal was on imperious form against Robin Haase, destroying the Dutchman 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier, to continue his quest for an incredible 10th Roland Garros triumph.
The 14-time major winner next faces Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in round four after the Georgian matched his best ever run at a major.
“Winning in straight sets is always good news,” the Spanish superstar said, and that could be bad news for the rest of the tour.
Defending champion Djokovic dismantled Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 to see him advance past his shock second-round exit at the year’s first major in Melbourne.
The world no 2 will now go up against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman for a place in the last 16 of the French open.
Sixth seed Dominic Thiem stormed into round three with a routine win over Simone Bolelli, sweeping the Italian aside 7-5, 6-1, 6-3.
Thiem, who is the only player to defeat Nadal on clay this season, will meet American 25th seed Steve Johnson next as he looks to build on last year’s run to the semifinals.
Usual suspects Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin all advanced, although French hopes suffered a huge blow as 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga crashed out to Argentine world no 91 Renzo Olivo.
In the female draw, reigning champion Garbine Muguruza survived another tough examination as she came from a set and a break behind to claw out a 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 win over Anett Kontaveit and book a third-round clash with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
And Petra Kvitova’s comeback from a horrifying knife attack was halted by American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands who defeated the popular Czech 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5), while Venus Williams shook off a slow start to ease into the third round with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Japan’s Kurumi Nara.