Rafael Nadal moves down to Suzanne Lenglen for his second round match, where he will play Guido Pella for a spot in the last 32. With Richard Gasquet (15 match losing streak vs Nadal) a likely opponent in round three, the World No.1 is probably feeling very comfortable right now.
Pella is a tidy player on clay but the ease in which he saw off Joao Sousa still came as something of a shock. He was not broken once in the 6-2 6-3 6-4 victory that secured his place in the second round of the French Open for the third time. Yet to make the third round of a slam yet, he is unfortunate to be in this part of the draw rather than a section with many beatable opponents.
Nadal didn’t quite wipe the floor with Simone Bolelli as expected, winning 6-4 6-3 7-6. He fell down a break in sets two and three of his straight sets victory against the Italian. He also had to save 4 set points in the decisive tiebreak before converting on his third match point opportunity. It provided a good workout for Nadal and should ensure he doesn’t get complacent against weak opposition. “He played well, playing with lot of risk but having success with all of the risk that he took,” he said. “For me, it was difficult to find 100 per cent, the rhythm, because I didn’t have so many points that I could take the advantage and hit three, four balls with the right position.”
Little has changed with regards to Nadal’s overwhelming favouritism for the title but he should be buoyed by the struggles of the likes of Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov in the bottom half of the draw. Both men were taken to five sets by much weaker opposition before eventually advancing.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets