Paris, France (4E Sports) – World No. 1 and eight-time champion Rafael Nadal cruised past No. 57 Dominic Thiem, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, Thursday for a place in the third round of the French Open.
Nadal, who improved to 6-1 against Thiem, is eyeing to become the first man in tennis history to win five straight Roland Garros titles.
Standing his Nadal’s way is Leonardo Mayer, who defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Joining Nadal in the third round was world No. 8 Andy Murray, who advanced via a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Marinko Matosevic.
Murray hit 31 winners overall and benefited from 39 unforced errors from Matosevic as he goes on to face No. 28 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who defeated Denis Istomin, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-2.
World No. 13 Richard Gasquet gave the French crowd reason to cheer as he overcame Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. Gasquet converted four of his 10 break points and won 32 of his 48 net approaches to prevail in two hours and 42 minutes.
Gasquet will next take on No. 24 seed Fernando Verdasco, who fought back from two sets down for the fifth time in his career to beat Pablo Cuevas, 4-6, 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.
Last year’s runner-up and fifth seed David Ferrer reached the third round for the 10th straight year with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Simone Bolelli. Ferrer will next play No. 32 seed Andreas Seppi, who beat Juan Monaco, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Other winners were Ivo Karlovic, Kevin Anderson, Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils, Fernando Verdasco, Donald Young, Jack Sock, Leonardo Mayer, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Dusan Lajovic.
On the women’s side, fourth seeded Simona Halep advanced to the third round via a 6-3, 6-4 win over Heather Watson.
Up next for Halep will be Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, who defeated Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
Also advancing were Petra Kvitova, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Sara Errani, Sloane Stephens, Julia Glushko, Ekaterina Makarova, Lucie Safarova, Kiki Bertens, Sorana Cirstea and Andrea Petkovic.
Other winners were Kristina Mladenovic, Silvia Soler-Espinosa, Pauline Parmentier, and Paula Ormaechea.