World no. 1 and top-seed at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal cruised into the third round without much work on court. Joining him alongside are compatriot David Ferrer, the 5th seed and runner-up last year, 7th seed Andy Murray of Great Britain, 12th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet and many others. There were only two upsets on a routine day at Paris. No. 26 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain lost to Donald Young of USA and in the men’s doubles, 6th seeded Indian/Pakistani pair of Bopanna and Qureshi lost to the Israeli/Brazilian combination of Jonathan Erlich and Marcelo Melo.
Rafael Nadal, who is bidding for an unprecedented 9 titles at Roland Garros, came up against Donald Thiem of Austria in his second round match. But the 20-year old Thiem, the youngest player in ATP’s top 100, was no match to the vastly experienced Nadal. Despite a fight by world no. 57, Nadal scored a relatively easy 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 second round victory. At the end of the match, Nadal was satisfied with his performance and that should work as a boost for him later in the tournament. Nadal’s third round opponent will be Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, who finished runner-up to Italian Fabio Fognini in the Royal Guard Open in Chile in February 2014. If Nadal takes the crown at French Open this year, he will make tennis history by becoming the only man to win at Roland Garros for five consecutive years. In addition, he could record his 45th win on clay, inching closer to the Argentinian Guillermo Vilas, who holds the record of 46 clay-court trophies in the Open Era.
Last year’s runner-up David Ferrer, too, had an easy passage into the third round. The 5th seeded Spaniard outplayed Italian qualifier Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. Ferrer is on record to defeat Nadal in the quarterfinal of the Monte-Carlo Masters last month. And here in Paris, Ferrer is drawn to meet the defending champion in the quarterfinal once again. Ferrer forced Bolelli to commit 21 unforced in the first set and won the match in the third set by breaking his opponent’s serve.
Wimbledon champion and 7th seed at Roland Garros, Andy Murray scored an emphatic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory against Australian Marinko Matosevic to enter the third round. Murray’s only moment of concern came in the third set, when he served for the match with a 5-2 lead. Matosevic broke him to reduce the lead to 5-3 but Murray won the match by breaking Matosevic right back. Murray didn’t play at Roland Garros last year due to his back injury but he reached the quarterfinals in 2012, before losing to David Ferrer. Murray’s third-round opponent is the talented 28th seed German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who is yet to drop a set at Roland Garros this year.
The partisan French crowd had a huge reason to cheer as world no. 13 and seeded 12th this year at Paris, Richard Gasquet defeated Argentine Carlos Berlocq 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a second round match that lasted for 2 hours and 42 minutes, Gasquet broke Berlocq’s service 4 times and won 32 net points out of 48. The Frenchman has never gone beyond the fourth round in Paris in his past 11 appearances. The 27-year old Gasquet will next run into 24th seed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who played a tough five-setter against Argentina’s world no. 136 Pablo Cuevas. In a match lasting just under 4 hours, Verdasco finally prevailed 4-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.
In one of the upsets on fifth day, Donald Young of US defeated 26th seed, Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to enter the third round. The other upset came in the men’s doubles category, when India’s Rohan Bopanna and his doubles partner from Pakistan Aisam Quereshi lost to Israel’s Jonathan Erlich and Marcelo Melo of Brazil. It was an early exit for the 6th seeded Indo-Pak pair, who lost in straight sets 3-6, 4-6.