The Defending champion Rafael Nadal hands out a bruising lesson to highly-rated Austrian Dominic Thiem as a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory takes the Spaniard into third round
Paris: Defending champion Rafael Nadal handed out a bruising lesson to highly-rated Austrian Dominic Thiem on Thursday as a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory took the Spaniard into the French Open third round.Eight-time winner Nadal, bidding to be the first man to clinch five Roland Garros titles in a row, had been expected to face a severe test from the 20-year-old world number 57.
But Thiem, who trains for big matches by running through forests carrying tree trunks to build stamina, ran out of steam on Philippe Chatrier court despite showing occasional glimpses of potential.Nadal took his career record in Paris to 61 wins against a single loss and goes on to face Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.
“Dominic is a dangerous player and I knew that if I wasn’t playing well then I’d be in trouble,” said Nadal.”But he is a future star, 100 percent. His level of ball is very high, he is strong on the forehand and backhand. He has everything to be a big champion.”Thiem had beaten Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in Madrid and gave 27-year-old Nadal plenty to think about in an eight-minute opening game.
But Nadal proceeded to pounce on Thiem’s raw inconsistencies which saw the young Austrian break the Spaniard twice only to be broken himself seven times and commit 41 unforced errors.Thiem dismissed suggestions that Nadal, having lost three times on European clay in the run-up to Roland Garros for the first time in 10 years, was a man at the crossroads.
“I think everybody wants this crisis which everybody says he has. I don’t think he has. There are only a few players who can hurt him in this tournament,” he said.Nadal’s compatriot David Ferrer, the fifth seed and last year’s runner-up, cruised past Italy’s Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 and next faces Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
Donald Young, the former world junior number one who has consistently struggled to live up the huge hype surrounding him, made the third round for the first time by beating Spanish 26th seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3.”Hindsight is 20/20. The hype came because at the time I was doing things no one else had done,” he said.”Looking at it again, you might do some things different, but I can’t do it now. If I had it over to do again, I probably would do a few things different.”-
Battle of the tall guys –
Big-serving Ivo Karlovic followed up his defeat of 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov, which was his first in Paris in seven years, by defeating Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer.Karlovic fired 24 aces and didn’t face a break point as he made the third round for the first time.The 2.11m (6ft 11in) Karlovic next faces 2.03m (6ft 8in) Kevin Anderson of South Africa who brushed aside Axel Michon, the world number 206 from France, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.