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Nadal, Djokovic Safely Through to Next Round at French Open

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Rafael Nadal celebrates at the Australian Open. Photo: Reuters

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were among the winners at the French Open today as Petra Kvitová’s comeback from a career-threatening injury ended in second round defeat at Roland Garros.

Nadal looked in ominous form as he continued his quest for a 10th title on the red clay in the French capital by sweeping aside Dutchman Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.

The Spaniard will play Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in round three.

Djokovic, competing in his first tournament under new coach Andre Agassi, also progressed in straight sets as he beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.

The Serbian’s opponent in the third round will be Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

Elsewhere in the men’s singles draw, home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, seeded 12th, crashed out as he lost 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 to Renzo Olivio of Argentina in a match which could not be completed yesterday.

Promising Austrian youngster Dominic Thiem, the sixth seed, had no such worries as he accounted for Italy’s Simone Bolelli 7-5, 6-1, 6-3.

Kvitová had produced an emotional win to reach the second round of the women’s draw but her fairytale recovery came to an end with defeat to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The 27-year-old Czech, whose appearance at Roland Garros is her first since an intruder posing as a maintenance man got into her home and stabbed her with a knife in her dominant left hand in December, lost 7-6, 7-6.

Defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain survived a scare as she dropped the opening set of her match with world number 99 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia before recovering to clinch a 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 triumph.

Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, the 27th seed, awaits for the Spaniard in the next round.

“I was expecting this kind of match because I played her recently, and I saw her a little bit in the few tournaments before,” said Muguruza.

American veteran Venus Williams became the oldest player to book a place in the third round of the French Open since Billie Jean King in 1982 by ousting Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-1.

The 36-year-old turned back the clock with a vintage display to set up a meeting with Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

By Liam Morgan

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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