Djoko, Nadal are milestone men at French Open
World No 1 Serbian records 50th match victory at the French Open, while Spanish ace logs 200th Grand Slam win as both stars enter third round
Paris: World No 1 Novak Djokovic and nine-time champion Rafael Nadal racked up personal Grand Slam milestones yesterday as they moved into the French Open third round.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns to Belgium’s Steve Darcis during their French Open second round match at Roland Garros in Paris yesterday
Top seed Djokovic, looking for a Roland Garros title to complete a career Grand Slam, claimed his 50th win at the tournament by seeing off Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. It was the Serb’s third win in three career meetings with Darcis, a player nicknamed ‘Shark’, who dumped Nadal out of Wimbledon in 2013. But it was a far from a smooth display from the 11-time major winner and three-time French Open runner-up who committed 42 unforced errors.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal serves to Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis during their French Open second round tie at Roland Garros. Pics/AFP
“He plays with a lot of speed, is good from the baseline and it was not easy for me to play the points the way I wanted. He has a lot of talent and it was tough. I am happy to have won in three sets,” ,” Djokovic said of 32-year-old Darcis.
Djoko meets Bedene
Djokovic next takes on Britain’s Slovenian-born Aljaz Bedene, who reached the third round of a major for the first time with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-2 win over Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta.
Nine-time champion Nadal became just the eighth man to rack up 200 Grand Slam match wins as he saw off Argentina’s World No 99 Facundo Bagnis 6-3, 6-0, 6-3. Nadal (29) dropped the first two games against Bagnis but then won 18 of the next 22 to ease into a last-32 clash against either Spanish compatriot Marcel Granollers or Nicolas Mahut of France.
“The most important thing is a victory in the second round more than the 200 victories,” said Nadal, who now has a 72-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros and only dropped three games in his opening victory over Sam Groth of Australia.
Also reaching the third round yesterday were 2010 semi-finalist Tomas Berdych, the seventh seeded Czech, who defeated Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-1, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
No 20 Tomic stunned
Australian 20th seed Bernard Tomic was a major casualty yesterday. He lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (8/6) to promising Croatian 19-year-old Borna Coric.
The record number of Grand Slam matches won by Swiss ace Roger Federer
Number of Grand Slam ties won by Rafael Nadal — 8th on the list of most Slam ties won