Muguruza survives scare as Nadal, Djokovic march on
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 2:58
Djokovic is bidding for a 13th Grand Slam championship title and if he manages to retain his Roland Garros title this year, he would become the first man in the Open Era to win each of the four major championships on at least two occasions.
Basilashvili, 25, hit just five winners and committed 34 unforced errors in his 90-minute horror show. And it's going to take a lot of work if I want to play on centre court and play good match against him.
The Dutchman settled down and was more competitive after a lopsided first set but never posed a serious threat to Nadal, victor of a record nine Roland Garros men's singles titles.
"I don't know if it was perfection", said Nadal, who turns 31 on Saturday. In the first set he played like he wanted to play, and lost 6-1.
"Tomorrow at 8.45 I'm going to be in front of the TV for sure supporting my team, hoping that Real Madrid will win another time".
Basilashvili, ranked No. 63, finally won a game at 6-0 5-0.
Nadal has been resurgent this season, winning three consecutive tournaments and losing as many finals in what is proving to be a fruitful 2017. I think I played a solid match. I won, with that score, against a player who had already beaten [Gilles] Simon and [Viktor] Troicki. "I was more or less under control during the whole match, so I'm very happy". He added: "In some important moments I was kind of hanging in there". His unusual training methods included persuading Rafael to play left-handed, even though he was naturally right-handed.
"I think I did a lot of things well this afternoon", Nadal added, with nearly comedic understatement.
"I used to hate it when guys did that to me. drag my tennis down, weaken me, and that is what you need to do".
The 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic began his French Open very impressively with a straight sets win over Steve Darcis, although he had to battle back from a set down in his second round match against Rogério Dutra Silva, eventually prevailing 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.
Raonic was leading 6-1, 1-0 when Garcia-Lopez stopped.
But the fourth seed recovered to claw out a 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 win and book a third-round clash with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
Rafael Nadal will then continue his bid for a 10th French Open title against Nikolz Basilashvili, and the second-seeded Djokovic follows against Diego Schwartzman.