Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Federer and Nadal power into Roland Garros third round, ill Bertens out

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Coming into the year's second Grand Slam event, Konta had yet to win a match at the French Open in her career.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal got his bid for a record-extending 12th French Open title off to the flawless start by brushing aside German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, while world number one Novak Djokovic was also a comfortable victor in the first round at Roland Garros on Monday.

This is the longest winning run on any surface in the Open era and Rafa became the player with the most consecutive wins on clay after defeating Robin Soderling 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 in the opening round of Roland Garros on May 29, 2006, notching his 54th triumph and leaving great Guillermo Vilas on 53.

Williams, who has fallen agonisingly short of winning her 24th Grand Slam title and matching Margaret Court, since returning from having a baby, looked understandably rusty after playing only one competitive match since March.

Spain's Muguruza, seeded 19th this year, eased to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Swede Johanna Larsson to advance.

"Have fun, enjoy, and try your best every single day", Nadal said.

"A break of serve in the first game gave me wings and relaxed me a bit so I could just start off in the best possible fashion", the world number one said.

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Two men's shocks saw Russian Daniil Medvedev, seeded 12th, surrender a two-set lead to lose to French doubles specialist Pierre-Hugues Herbert while Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the 20-year-old 20th seed, lost to German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Cilic and Dimitrov were seeded third and fourth at Roland Garros a year ago, but both have fallen outside the top 10; Dimitrov is all the way down to No. 46.

Also, seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori rallied to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

"It was a good match for the first two sets", said Nadal.

"It's really bad timing, I would call it maybe that", Bertens said. "I can play loose and free".

That record was safe for nearly 30 years and Nadal took care of overshadowing it in style, receiving a special prize on the court from Vilas himself (even though the Argentinian wasn't happy about it at all). I'm approaching Roland Garros always in the same manner.

The 27-year-old, a semi-finalist in 2016, was trailing Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 3-1, 40-15 when she called for the doctor, complaining she was suffering from "shaking and no energy". He's an opponent that you need to play very well against. "It's a special tournament for me", the 25-year-old, who also won Wimbledon in 2017, told a courtside interviewer.

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