While the top seed in the women’s draw was eliminated in the second round of the French Open, Rafael Nadal remains on quest to defend his Roland Garros title. The Spaniard’s next match-up is a third round encounter with Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, whom he has met on two previous occasions on the professional tour. Nadal leads the head-to-head series 2-0.
In what was expected to be an entertaining and competitive affair, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal defeated Austrian youngster Dominic Thiem in straight sets to secure entry into the third round of the tournament. While Thiem held a break advantage early in the third set, it was too little too late, as Nadal would recover and close out the match soon afterwards.
“I played well,” said Nadal. “I played the way that I would like to play… and I’m happy the way I returned today… I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the match.”
- Nadal is now 61-1 at Roland Garros.
- He is on track to become the first man to win 5 straight title at the French Open.
Nadal’s upcoming opponent is the Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round in Paris. It was his best performance since finishing runner-up in Chile earlier this year.
“He’s very powerful when he serves [and hits his] forehand,” said Nadal or Mayer. “His backhand is also really good. He’s really dangerous as a player. I know him well.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Nadal leading the head-to-head series with an undefeated 2-0 record. The most recent victory took place on the clay courts in Acapulco (before they became hard courts). Mayer is yet to win more than five games in a set against Nadal.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets