Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal rolled into the French Open Round of 16 on Friday, blowing past Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 for his third consecutive straight sets victory at Roland Garros.
“I think I played great. I think at the beginning of the match, I thought my opponent was not playing bad, but I was able to produce winners, to play with no mistakes, to play very long,” said Nadal. “I hit with a very high intensity on all the shots. It was a great match for me. I won, with that score, against a player who had already beaten [Gilles] Simon and [Viktor] Troicki. I played very well.”
Nadal played better than ‘very well’. The Spaniard was nearly flawless, winning 63 percent of the points on Basilashvili’s serve and saving all three of the break points he faced.
In the fourth round, Nadal will meet fellow Spaniard and 17th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut, who upended Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 on Friday.
World number two Novak Djokovic had a much tougher time in his third-round contest as he needed all five sets to move past Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
While Schwartzman held a two sets to one advantage, he began to break down physically as the match went on and Djokovic took full advantage. He raced out to a 4-0 advantage in the fourth set and completely dominated the final two to advantage past the 41st ranked Schwartzman.
“I’m glad that I have some positives to take from today’s match. I was mentally still, you know, strong and as calm as I could be, even though I was two sets to one down,” said Djokovic. “I kept believing I could break his resistance. It was just too many unforced errors from myself.”
The Serb hopes to cut down on those unforced errors when he takes on 19th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a spot in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard outlasted 16th seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.
Below are the other results from Roland Garros on Friday:
►(5) Milos Raonic d. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 1-0 (ret.)
►(6) Dominic Thiem d. (25) Steve Johnson 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3
►Horacio Zeballos d. (10) David Goffin 4-5 (ret.)|
►(20) Pablo Carreno-Busta d. (11) Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
►(4) Garbine Muguruza d. (27) Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 6-2
►(8) Svetlana Kuznetsova d. (32) Shuai Zhang 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5
►(10) Venus Williams d. Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-1
►(13) Kristina Mladenovic d. Shelby Rogers 7-5, 4-6, 8-6
►(23) Samantha Stosur d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-2
►(30) Timea Bacsinszky d. Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2
►Jelena Ostapenko d. Lesya Tsurenko 6-1, 6-4
►(11) Caroline Wozniacki leads CiCi Bellis 6-2, 2-5 (to finish)
New York Tennis Magazine Staff
The New York Tennis Magazine Staff is comprised of tennis pros, tennis coaches and tennis writers