Nadal, del Potro progress in French Open Tennis | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips

Nadal, del Potro progress in French Open

Rafael Nadal’s disappointment at the resignation of Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was quickly put to one side as he dominated Guido Pella at the French Open.

The world number one is a huge Madrid fan and praised the departing Zidane following a 6-2 6-1 6-1 victory over Pella, which at times felt like an exhibition match.

Juan Martin del Potro was similarly dominant against veteran Julien Benneteau, making his last French Open appearance, but Marin Cilic had a slightly more difficult second-round outing.


Nadal’s class was evident against Pella, who – after making a decent start to the first set – was unable to stop the Spanish juggernaut.

Next up for the world number one and 10-time champion at Roland Garros is Richard Gasquet, a player he considers a good friend on tour.

“I have a great relationship with him always, since we were kids,” he said. “We met each other first time when we were 12.

“The first thing is he’s a very good person. He’s a very normal guy. We practiced hundreds of times together. He came to Mallorca.”

“I have a great relationship with him, always. Since we were kids. We met each other first time when we were 12. First thing is he’s a very good person.”

-@RafaelNadal on upcoming opponent @richardgasquet1 #RG18

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2018


Benneteau was playing his last French Open before retirement, but the 36-year-old never looked capable of an upset against Del Potro.

The fifth seed ran out a comfortable 6-4 6-3 6-2 winner against the veteran, and now faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

“It wasn’t easy for me to play a guy like Julien in Paris. I am so proud of him.”@delpotrojuan #RG18

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2018


Cilic appeared to be coasting in his encounter with Hubert Hurkacz before the Pole found some form, but eventually the third seed secured a 6-2 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 win.

“At the beginning of the third set, I felt that I just took the pedal off the gas and just gave him a little bit more room to breathe,” Cilic reflected of his in-match dip.

Seventh seed Thiem, who many see as one of the few legitimate threats to Nadal in Paris, also had to tough it out against rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas in a match held over from Wednesday, the Austrian coming through 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4.

“The key was, for sure, that I went home yesterday with a one-set lead. It was really important. The first set today was very, very good tennis from me. Very focused and everything,” Thiem said.

Other notable matches saw home favourite Lucas Pouille defeat Cameron Norrie in four sets, but up and comer Denis Shapovalov exited at the hands of Maximilian Marterer.


Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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