Djokovic’s gift to unsettle threatens Rafael Nadal’s kingdom

Rafael Nadal has owned Roland Garros for nearly all of his career. Whether Novak Djokovic can take over the lease on Sunday afternoon depends on two factors: the Spaniard’s desire and the Serb’s neck.

a man hitting a ball with a racket: Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

Through six matches there has been no sign of the champion’s will waning, as he has battled to win every set. Whether Djokovic’s body – particularly that area stretching down from the top of his spine to the tips of his fingers – can hold up under championship pressure is less certain, whatever the strength of his fightback to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas over five sets in the second semi-final on Friday night. Nadal’s earlier dismissal of Diego Schwartzman had its anxious moments, but there was little doubt he would prevail.

a man hitting a ball with a racket: Rafael Nadal’s dismissal of Diego Schwartzman in the semi-final had its anxious moments, but there was little doubt he would prevail.

© Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal’s dismissal of Diego Schwartzman in the semi-final had its anxious

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French Open 2020: Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep Advance in Men’s, Women’s Brackets | Bleacher Report

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot against Italy's Stefano Travaglia in the third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Michel Euler/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal continued his quest for an unprecedented 13th French Open title with a dominant straight-sets victory over Stefano Travaglia on Friday at Stade Roland Garros in Paris.

Simona Halep, the No. 1 seed in the women’s draw, was also in top form as she dropped just a single game in her third-round triumph over Amanda Anisimova.

Check out the complete results from Friday’s action in the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, followed by a recap of the most notable matches.


Men’s Singles

(2) Rafael Nadal d. Stefano Travaglia; 6-1, 6-4, 6-0

(3) Dominic Thiem d. (28) Casper Ruud; 6-4, 6-3, 6-1

(6) Alexander Zverev d. Marco Cecchinato; 6-1, 7-5, 6-3

(12) Diego Schwartzman d. Norbert Gombos; 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-3

Hugo Gaston d. (16) Stan Wawrinka; 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0

Lorenzo Sonego d. (27) Taylor Fritz; 7-6 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (17)

Jannik Sinner

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French Open 2020: Rafael Nadal starts quest for 13th Roland Garros title in routine fashion

Rafael Nadal breezed into the second round of the French Open with a straight-sets win over Egor Gerasimov at Roland Garros.

Seeking a remarkable 13th title at the clay-court grand slam, Nadal had suggested the conditions and heavier balls he described as “slow and dangerous” could impact his hopes.

He came into Monday’s meeting with the world number 83 having only played one tournament since February due to the coronavirus pandemic, losing to Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals in Rome.

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Neither the balls nor any Nadal rust could prevent him from claiming a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory, though, Gerasimov’s admirable resistance fading after he turned his ankle in the third set.

The first break came Nadal’s way courtesy of a deft drop shot and that was enough to claim the first set, which he wrapped up with

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