French Open: Nadal, Cilic book 3rd round spots with easy wins

first_imgReigning champion Rafael Nadal bludgeoned his way into the French Open third round with a 6-2 6-1 6-1 defeat of outclassed Argentine Guido Pella on Thursday.With rain showers forecast at Roland Garros the 31-year-old wasted no time on Court Suzanne Lenglen after saving four break points in the first game against the 78th-ranked Pella.Once that early danger had been snuffed out Nadal offered up a masterclass against his fellow left-hander and his forehand was too hot for Pella to handle.The Spanish world number one has now won his last 27 sets at Roland Garros, having captured a 10th title last year without dropping a set.Next in the firing line for Nadal is Frenchman Richard Gasquet.CILIC EASES INTO 3RD ROUND22nd match win at Roland-Garros @cilic_marin battles past a spirited Hurkacz 6-2 6-2 6-7(3) 7-5 and is into the third round…#RG18 (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2018Marin Cilic beat Polish qualifier Hubert Hurkacz 6-2 6-2 6-7(3) 7-5 to book a third round spot in the French Open on Thursday.The Croatian third seed breezed through the first two sets virtually unchallenged by the world number 188, who stepped up his game in the third and fourth, forcing errors from Cilic.The 21-year-old forced and then won a third-set tiebreak, but was broken in the 11th game of the fourth set with Cilic clinching the contest on his first match point with an unreturnable serve.Cilic, who got his best result at Roland Garros last year by reaching the quarter-finals, faces German Jan Lennard Struff or American Tennys Sandgren in the next round.advertisementPOUILLE KEEPS FRENCH HOPES [email protected]_pouille fights off a late charge from Cam Norrie 6-2 6-2 6-7(3) 7-5 to secure his place in the third round of Roland-Garros.Quelques frayeurs dans le 4e set mais Lucas Pouille s’impose face à Cameron Norrie.Khachanov attend le Français au 3e tour !#RG18 (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2018French number one Lucas Pouille put down a spirited comeback by unseeded Briton Cameron Norrie to beat him 6-2 6-4 5-7 7-6(3) to lead home hopes going into the third round at Roland Garros.Pouille, seeded 15th, looked to be cruising after two sets late on Wednesday before Norrie roused himself after calling the doctor to the court and won the third set as the light quickly faded over the French Open.Any hopes Pouille had of settling the match quickly when play resumed on Thursday were quashed by the British number three, who with the fourth set poised at 3-3 saved two break points with some gutsy rallying.Pouille looked tight and at 5-4 down on his own serve Norrie had a break point. It was a make-or-break moment for the 22-year-old, but the Frenchman gave him no chance, thundering down his 10th ace of the match to save the set.The fourth set headed to a tiebreak and Pouille duly wrapped up victory.DEL POTRO BREEZES INTO ROUND [email protected] soars into the third round!Defeats Benneteau in his final match in Paris 6-4 6-3 6-2.#RG18 (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2018If you’re playing in your last tournament, then hope to avoid Juan Martin Del Potro, who beat Julien Benneteau 6-4 6-3 6-2 in the local favourite’s final match at Roland Garros on Thursday to reach the French Open third round.Del Potro ended American Andy Roddick’s career at the 2012 U.S. Open and that of Russian Marat Safin in the Paris Masters in 2009.The Argentine served well and played neatly throughout to subdue Benneteau, who achieved his best result at a Grand Slam when he reached the French Open quarter-finals in 2006.Del Potro, whose career has been hampered by injuries, withdrew from this month’s Rome Masters with a groin problem, sparking fears about his prospects in Paris.The dangerman in the top half of the draw, fifth seed Del Potro, playing in the tournament for the first time since 2012, next faces Spanish 31st seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.The 36-year-old Benneteau, who will retire at the end of the season, played the French Open 16 times between 2002 and 2018.last_img read more