Defending French Open champion and world number one Rafael Nadal comfortably eased through to the third round in Paris on Thursday, with the Spaniard making light work of Argentine Guido Pella out on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Nadal had not been too convincing in his first round match against lucky loser Simone Bolelli, with the Spaniard prevailing in three tight sets. However, despite a tight opening set today, the ten-time Roland Garros champion looked much better today, dropping just four games to Pella as he prevailed, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in two hours and three minutes to progress.
Nadal impresses as Pella provides little threat to title favorite
After a slight scare in the first round, many were intrigued to see how Nadal would fare today, and there was also some interest in the fact that top seed was not playing on Chatrier today, though neither the court or his previous match seemed to bother him today as he put in a imperious performance.
Pella looked dangerous early on, holding four break points in the opening game, though failed to convert any, and they would prove to be his only break points of the second round. After working his way into the encounter, Nadal finally broke through the Argentine’s resistance to break for a 4-2 lead, and consolidated to go a game away from the set. Pella was able to save a handful of set points, though the Spaniard eventually broke for a second time to go a set up
The first set hadn’t been too easy, taking 58 minutes, though Nadal really began to surge through in the second set. Pella, ranked just inside the top 80, was not doing too much wrong but could simply not manage Nadal, who showed some vintage tennis as he broke twice on his way to a intimidating 5-0 lead. The Argentine managed to avoid the bagel as he held for 5-1, though could not get a larger foothold in the set as Nadal served it out for a two set lead.
Unfortunately for Pella, the third set went largely in the pattern as the second. The Argentine was able to hold serve early on in the third, though was quickly a break down as Nadal eased to a three one lead. Despite missing four break points, the title favorite converted a fifth to then take a 4-1 lead, and then held comfortably to go a game away from victory. Serving to stay in it, Pella saved a first match point, though a double fault handed Nadal an impressive victory.
After a tough opener, there can be no doubt that Nadal will be much happier with a performance that saw him hit 26 unforced errors to an impressive 37 winners. Unsurprisingly, he will be the huge favorite for his third round clash against 27th seed Richard Gasquet- a man he is 15-0 against.