Big Men Tennis: Djokovic, Nadal Sail into Third Round in Paris

PARIS -- Defending champion Novak Djokovic and nine-time champion Rafael Nadal sailed easily past their respective opponents into the third round of Roland Garros on Wednesday.

Djokovic convincingly defeated Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.

"I think the beginning of the match and the way I have started," said Djokovic after the match. "Great first set, pretty much done everything I wanted. Midway second set until maybe midway third set, that's where I allowed him to believe more that he can get back into the match, and he started playing better. I felt like maybe I took off the foot from the gas a little bit.

"You know, he used his opportunities very quick to run around his backhand. Very aggressive. Likes to play on clay.

"So, yeah, once he has time, he can be dangerous. So I tried to take away that time from him. In some important moments I was, you know, kind of hanging in there. Especially in the third set he missed an easy forehand maybe to go break up in the third. It was quite close. Especially in the third set. The way I ended the match and last couple of games was positive. The way I started, as well.

"Generally, I felt better than the first round, so that's exactly what I wanted," said Djokovic.

The No. 2 seed will next play Diego Schwartzman, who defeated Stefano Napolitano 3, 7-5, 6-2 to make his first third round of a Grand slam for the first time.

Meanwhile, Nadal, who's on a historic quest to win his 10th Roland Garros title, took out Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. Today Nadal played a more aggressive game than usual, finishing the match with 33 winners to 13 unforced errors. He went to the net 22 times, winning 15 of those net points.

"I think I played a solid match," said Nadal in his post-match press conference. "Hitting very well the ball with the forehand. I think my serve worked better than yesterday. Well, than two days ago.

"I was more or less under control during the whole match, so very happy winning in straight sets is always great news, and Robin is a dangerous opponent always. He can serve very well. Hit very strong. I think I did a lot of things well this afternoon., said Nadal.

Next up for Nadal is Nikoloz Basilashvili, who defeated Viktor Troicki 7-6(3), 7-6(2), 7-6(6). This is Basilashvili's first trip to Roland Garros third round.

Top story presented by Optum.


Tennis Channel Plus is the ultimate one-stop shop for watching Roland Garros LIVE and On-Demand
Get Tennis Channel Plus for Roland Garros to watch 200 live matches from up to five courts on any streaming device, on mobile, always on the GO
Available here -->

Share This Story