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French Open: Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem cruise in third round; Simona Halep advances

Second seed Rafael Nadal will now face Italy’s Stefano Travaglia, who survived a five-set thriller against Japan’s Nishikori Kei.

SNS | New Delhi |

The 12 times French Open champion Rafael Nadal advanced successfully to the third round in the ongoing Roland Garros after a comprehensive straight-set win against world number 236 Mackenzie McDonald.

The world number two men’s singles player, Nadal, on Wednesday defeat McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in little over one-and-a-half hours to take his win-loss record at the clay court Major to a staggering 95-2.

“I am very happy,” Nadal said after his triumph as per the ATP Tour website. “(It) will be another difficult match against Travaglia or Nishikori. I hope to play a good level. It’s always very special to play here in Paris, especially here on Court Philippe-Chatrier, so I’m very happy to play another time,” the ‘King of Clay’ added.

The 19-time Grand Slam winner will now face Italian Stefano Travaglia in the round of 32, who survived a five-set thriller against Japan’s Nishikori Kei to advance 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-2.

In another men’s singles contest, the new US Open champion Dominic Thiem, too, continued on his path to win two back-to-back Grand Slams.

Takings his unbeaten streak to nine matches, the world number three beat American qualifier Jack Sock 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (6) in two hours and 22 minutes. He will next face No. 28 seed Casper Ruud.

Meanwhile, in women’s singles, top seed Simona Halep and third seed Elina Svitolina qualified for the next round. If Halep cruised past her second-round opponent with an ease, Svitolina suffered a scare.

Halep beat her fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-4 to book a spot, Svitolina of Ukraine rallied from a set down defeat Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 to keep on track for her maiden Grand Slam title.

The biggest news of the day at the Roland Garros complex, however, was related to Serena Williams as the 23-time Grand Slam champion withdrew her name from this year’s French Open ahead of her second round match against Tsvetana Pironkova.

The 39-year-old took the decision due to her Achilles heel injury which she had suffered during her US Open semi-final loss against Victoria Azarenka earlier this month.

Williams further informed that she might not play this year again.