Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic progress with ominous ease

Laura Christensen
June 1, 2017

Rafael Nadal knows there is a chance his body may pay for his return to form this year but the legendary Spaniard is putting that to the back of his mind as he bids to make history at the French Open.

Resuming his quest for a 10th title in Paris, Rafael Nadal later joined Djokovic and Muguruza without dropping a set, dispatching Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 49 minutes. The 30-year-old Nadal extended his 2017 clay-court record to 18-1 and his career Roland Garros record to 73-2.

Number 23 seed Karlovic has never fared particularly well at Roland Garros - last year's run to the third round matched his best performance in Paris. And, under the watchful eye of his new coach Andre Agassi, Djokovic swept past João Sousa 6-1 6-4 6-3 to book his place in the third round, where he will play Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.

"I think she was playing so, so good for the first two sets", Muguruza said.

Muguruza has endured a hard 2017 and again found herself in trouble after falling a set and a break behind against the Estonian. In the first set he played like he wanted to play, and lost 6-1.

Olivo, however, converted his next chance with a forehand crosscourt victor.

"I think I played a good match", said the fourth seed.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, who was seeded 15th, lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The 9-time French Open winning Spaniard is on course to win his 10th title this time and he is the hot favourite in the tournament.

On Court 6, there was pathos and tears of joy for Steve Johnson, bathos and some world-class racket-smashing for Borna Coric.

"I'm here to play a tennis tournament".

There would be few in the Roland Garros crowds who would disagree with that analysis - least of all Dutchman Haase, who appeared shell-shocked at the end.

Argentina's Renzo Olivo celebrates winning his match against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France.

Little wonder that, after beginning the year at No9, he is back among fellow Grand Slam champions at the top of the ranks and leads the Race to London. "Well, it was an awkward twist, but it was nothing, nothing really major", he said. I took it one point at a time to stay calm.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, was playing in her first competition this week after a five-month injury absence following a stabbing by a burglar past year.

"I think I have reached the stage of my life where I just need to always find new ways of motivating myself, inspiring myself, and having Agassi on board and doing some changes is definitely bringing me that", Djokovic said. "It was a little bit of a bad start, falling behind 0-3".

There was also an unexpected visitor at the French Open, Serena Williams.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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