Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep breeze into French Open third round

Rafael Nadal continued his bid for an unprecedented 11th French Open title with a very comfortable 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 win over Argentine Guido Pella on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Nadal, who hadn’t dropped a set in this event since 2015, faces French hopeful, Richard Gasquet in the third round on Saturday. Nadal has won all 15 of their previous meetings.

Third seed, Marin Cilic of Croatia didn’t have it easy against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

The beanpole Croat led by two sets to love but dropped the third on a tie-break before going on to claim 6-2, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 a victory.

Also, sixth-seeded South African, Kevin Anderson needed four sets to get past the tricky Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Prince of Clay, Dominic Thiem resumed at two sets to one up against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and eventually closed it out 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

In the women’s draw, Simona Halep, who’s in search of a maiden Grand Slam title, thrashed wild-card entry Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-1.

Halep said in her post-match interview that she struggled initially against the left-hander’s shots with topspin. But the score didn’t show it.

The Romanian world number one will face Germany’s Andrea Petkovic in the next round.

Russia’s Maria Sharapova, who’s playing at Roland-Garros for the first time since 2015, beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-5 6-4.

She will play Czech sixth seed Karolina Pliskova next, with Serena Williams a potential opponent in the fourth round.



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