After playing his first two matches with great authority, 9-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the 2016 French Open with a wrist injury. The Spaniard, who logged his 200th win in Grand Slam matches on Thursday, after beating Facundo Bagnis of Argentina, announced that he could not play his third round match against compatriot Marcel Granollers. It was a huge setback for the fans of the no.4 seeded Nadal, who had been giving the impression of moving ahead menacingly towards his 10th French Open crown. On the 6th day at Roland Garros, Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Jeremy Chardy also exited the tournament as did Australia’s Nick Kyrgios. Among women, Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova also fell on the day of upsets. However, there was relief for Great Britain’s Andy Murray, who didn’t take more than three sets in beating the big-serving Ivo Karlovic of Croatia. India’s Sania Mirza and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis had an easy second-round win against Japan’s Nao Hibino and Eri Hozumi.
Now onwards, there will be no speculations on whether Rafael Nadal could win the French Open for the 10th time. The Spaniard was carrying on with a wrist injury in his second-round match against Argentine Facundo Bagnis, whom he beat in straight sets to record his 200th win Grand Slams. The 29-year old Spaniard revealed that he played against Bagnis with a pain-killing injection. Later on Friday, the injury made it difficult for Nadal to move his wrist. He couldn’t have carried on further since that would have amounted to aggravating the injury further. With Nadal out of contention, Friday turned out to be bad for some other seeded players as well. Frenchman Gilles Simon and his compatriot Jeremy Chardy lost their third round matches. 16th seeded Simon lost 4-6, 2-6, 2-6 to 22nd seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki while no.30 seed Chardy went down 4-6, 3-6, 5-7 against no.3 seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka. Australia’s 17th seeded Nick Kyrgios failed to enter the fourth-round, losing 2-6, 6-7, 2-6 to France’s no.9 seeded Richard Gasquet. Britain’s Andy Murray heaved a sigh of relief after his two marathon matches that consumed 10 sets over three days. On Friday, the Scot defeated Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 to enter the fourth round.
In women’s draw, Czech 10th seed Petra Kvitova lost 0-6, 7-6, 0-6 to USA’s world no.108 Shelby Rogers while her compatriot and 11th seed Lucie Safarova also made the exit from the tournament with a 3-6, 7-6, 5-7 loss against Australia’s 21st seed Samantha Stosur. In women’s doubles, the Indo-Swiss pair of Sania Mirza/Martina Hingis reached the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Japanese duo of Nao Hibino/Eri Hozumi. In other notable women’s singles results on Friday, no.4 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain defeated Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-0; no.6 seed Simona Halep beat Japan’s Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and no.2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated Czech Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-7, 6-2.
In men’s draw, Japan’s no.5 seed Kei Nishikori and Canada’s no.8 seed Milos Raonic scored contrasting wins over their opponents. Nishikori had to battle for five sets before edging out Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6–3, 6–4, 3–6, 2–6, 6–4 while Raonic defeated Slovak Lucky loser Andrej Martin 7-6, 6-2, 6-3. In the doubles draw, Indo-Romanian combo of Rohan Bopanna/Florin Mergea moved to the third round with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the French duo of Gregoire Barrere/Quentin Halys while veteran Leander Paes also reached the third round with his partner Marcin Matkowski, when the pair defeated the Austrian-German combine of Julian Knowle/Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-3. In the mixed doubles draw, Leander Paes/Martina Hingis also made a winning start with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the German/Colombian pair of Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Robert Farah.
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