French Open: Nadal, Halep, Thiem advance into 4th round

PARIS, OCT 2 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 10/2/2020 12:20:24 PM IST

Record 12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, top seed Simona Halep and US Open winner Dominic Thiem swept into the last 16 at Roland Garros on Friday.

Rafael Nadal continued his pursuit of a record-extending 13th French Open title with a straight sets victory over Stefano Travaglia in the third round.

The Spaniard dropped just five games as he came through 6-1 6-4 6-0 in one hour and 37 minutes on Philippe-Chatrier. He will next meet Sebastian Korda at Roland Garros.

Title favourite Halep, the 2018 champion, avenged last year’s French Open loss to Amanda Anisimova by thrashing the American teenager 6-0, 6-1 in just 54 minutes. Reigning Wimbledon champion Halep made only seven unforced errors as she stretched her career-best winning run to 17 matches.

“I think I played a really good match. I was very aggressive and I knew from last year I had to change something and I did that today,” said Halep, dedicating the win to her coach.

Halep meets another 19-year-old opponent, Poland’s Iga Swiatek, for a place in the quarter-finals. Halep’s status as the women’s frontrunner was reinforced following the withdrawal of Serena Williams, on top of the absence of world number one and defending champion Ashleigh Barty, as well as US Open winner Naomi Osaka.

Meanwhile Thiem, the runner-up to Nadal in Paris the past two years, broke down early resistance from Norway’s Casper Ruud to secure an impressive 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 victory. The Austrian third seed set up a potential showdown with 2015 French Open winner Stan Wawrinka, who was playing the lone Frenchman left in the draw, 239th-ranked Hugo Gaston.

Wawrinka and left-hander Gaston exchanged the first two sets before rain halted play on all but Court Philippe Chatrier.

Two-time quarter-finalist Elina Svitolina ensured she will stick around for the second week in Paris with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, the 27th seed. The 19-year-old Swiatek beat Canadian wild-card entry Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-2. Swiatek has so far lost only 13 games and not dropped a set on her way to the fourth round for the second consecutive year.

Svitolina defeated two-time French Open quarterfinalist Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 7-5.


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