Defending champion enters Round Three after an easy win over highly-rated Dominic Thiem
Paris: Defending champion Rafael Nadal handed out a bruising lesson to highly-rated Austrian Dominic Thiem yesterday as a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory took the Spaniard into the French Open third round.
Rafael Nadal. Pic/Getty Images
Eight-time winner Nadal, bidding to be the first man to clinch five Roland Garros titles in a row, had been expected to face a severe test from the 20-year-old world number 57.
But Thiem, who trains for big matches by running through forests carrying tree trunks to build stamina, ran out of steam on Philippe Chatrier court despite showing occasional glimpses of potential.
Nadal took his career record in Paris to 61 wins against a single loss and goes on to face Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.
"Dominic is a dangerous player and I knew that if I wasn't playing well then I'd be in trouble," said Nadal.
"But he is a future star, 100 percent. His level of ball is very high, he is strong on the forehand and backhand. He has everything to be a big champion."
Thiem had beaten Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in Madrid and gave 27-year-old Nadal plenty to think about in an eight-minute opening game.
But Nadal proceeded to pounce on Thiem's raw inconsistencies which saw the young Austrian break the Spaniard twice only to be broken himself seven times and commit 41 unforced errors.
Nadal's compatriot David Ferrer, the fifth seed and last year's runner-up, cruised past Italy's Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 and next faces Italy's Andreas Seppi.
The number of unforced errors Dominic Thiem committed in his second round match against Rafael Nadal