Rafael Nadal is fighting hard for that 12th French Open title as he continues taking down all opponents including Friday’s match with David Goffin 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. He had to fight hard for that one unlike Wednesday’s versus Yannick Maden. Novak Djokovic’s young son also proved to be a true Roland Garros gentleman.
Another German qualifier named Yannick, another easy win for Rafael Nadal.
Chasing a record-extending 12th title at the French Open, Nadal posted a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Yannick Maden on Wednesday to reach the third round of the clay-court Grand Slam.
Nadal lost only six games in the first round against Yannick Hanfmann. He was on the verge of doing even better on Wednesday but lost focus briefly in the third set and dropped his serve twice.
“That’s just about concentration,” Nadal said. “Because the feeling on the match has been positive. Positive thing is, every time that I (made) the mistake, then I had the break again, and that’s the good news.”
In the next round, Nadal will be up against 27th-seeded David Goffin.
Sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced, making it to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time. The Greek player overcame a slow start to beat Hugo Dellien of Bolivia 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.
Also, seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori rallied to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
In the women’s draw, former champion Garbine Muguruza and last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens both posted straight-set wins to progress to the third round.
On a sunny morning in the French capital, Muguruza beat Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-1 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Seeded 19th this year, Muguruza won the title at Roland Garros in 2016 when she upset Serena Williams in the final. The Spanish player is expected to face tougher opposition in her next match against ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who progressed to the third round without hitting a shot.
Svitolina was set to play 67th-ranked Kateryna Kozlova but organizers said the Ukrainian player withdrew with a virus.
Stephens, who lost to Simona Halep in last year’s final, needed a bit more time to defeat gritty but error-prone Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 7-6 (3).
In a match that featured 11 breaks of serve, Stephens could not hold on to a 3-0 lead in the second set and Sorribes Tormo twice had the opportunity to level at 1-set apiece on her serve. A turning point came in the 11th game when the 22-year-old Spaniard hit two consecutive double-faults to drop serve.
The seventh-seeded Stephens hit a series of winners in the tiebreaker and sealed the match with a backhand down the line.
“Just decided to keep it exciting, to play a bit longer on that court,” Stephens joked. “I missed it from last year.”
Later, Roger Federer was facing 144th-ranked Oscar Otte. Federer is playing at Roland Garros after a four-year absence.
Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem Head To Round 3
World number one Novak Djokovic claimed a routine win over ‘lucky loser’ Henri Laaksonen to move into the third round of the French Open at Roland Garros.
Djokovic who won the 2016 competition, secured a 6-1 6-4 6-3 victory on Court Suzanne Lenglen in Paris.
He is aiming for his second Grand Slam title of 2019 after winning the Australian Open in January.
All of the top 10 seeded players in the men’s singles are into the third round after wins for six of them on Thursday.
Laaksonen was beaten by Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in the third round of qualifying but took his place in the main draw after benefiting from withdrawals.
The Swiss, ranked 104th in the world, beat Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez in the opening round to set up a first meeting with 15-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic.
The first set lasted only 23 minutes, but Laaksonen provided more resistance in the second, breaking Djokovic’s serve in the sixth game.
However, Djokovic twice broke Laaksonen’s serve in consecutive service games to take a two-set lead.
Djokovic, 32, will play unseeded Italian Salvatore Caruso, who knocked out France’s 26th seed Gilles Simon.
Thiem and Zverev safely through
Fourth seed Dominic Thiem, the runner-up last year, moved into round three with a 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5 win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik.
Bublik three times opted to play underarm serves to disrupt Thiem’s rhythm, but could not beat the Austrian, who faces Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas after Britain’s Kyle Edmund pulled out with injury in the third set.
Asked about Bublik’s underarm serves, Thiem said: “It’s a good choice against players like us who are so far behind the baseline.
“For me it was tough. I had difficulties finding the right position. I didn’t practise [for] it but I just expect it from time to time. He won two out of three. Sometimes it’s quite a good tactic.”
Novak Djokovic’s Son A Perfect French Open Gentleman
In a career already full of milestones, Novak Djokovic passed another one in reaching the third round of the French Open: His young son watched him play for the first time.
Djokovic cruised into the last 32 for the 14th successive year, admitting it had been an emotional day playing for the first time in front of his four-year-old Stefan.
Djokovic, bidding to become just the second man to hold all four Slams at the same time twice, cruised to a 6-1 6-4 6-3 win over Swiss lucky loser Henri Laaksonen with Stefan watching from the player’s box on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
“It’s a very special day for me as it’s the first time in my life that I have played in front of my son,” said the 32-year-old Serb after a 23rd straight win at the Slams.
“He showed incredible patience to sit there for an hour and a half. Usually, he’s not that patient with tennis.”
Stefan joined in the celebrations on centre court when Djokovic claimed a fourth Wimbledon title last July, but he was banned from watching the match because children under the age of five are not permitted into show courts by the All England Club.
He will still be a few months short of his fifth birthday at this year’s tournament.
Djokovic, who also has an 18-month-old daughter, Tara, revealed his son had been the major factor driving him during his comeback from an injury-riddled 2018.
“Actually, I didn’t talk about it but it was one of, if not the biggest, motivation I’ve had for this Wimbledon this year,” he said, after winning Wimbledon.
“I was visualising, imagining this moment of him coming to the stands, cherishing this moment with my wife and me and everyone. It’s hard to describe.
“I never had him in the box watching the tennis match. I was hoping that Wimbledon can be that tournament because he’s big enough now I think to stay quiet maybe for 30 minutes or so
“There are special rules here so we have to respect them.
“Roger (Federer) had his girls and his boys as well, I think, last year and the years that he won at the trophy ceremony, so I was hoping I can have Stefan, too.”
“He was not there til the very moment when I was walking to get an interview. He walked in. So that was just a moment that I will carry inside of my heart forever.”
Djokovic goes on to face Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso, ranked 147, for a place in the last 16 in Paris.
Thursday was a lot more enjoyable for Djokovic than his last visit to Court Suzanne Lenglen in 2018 when he was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Marco Cecchinato.