Ruthless Rafa rolls into third round in Paris

Defending champion Rafael Nadal cruised into the third round with consummate ease following another straight set win in Paris on Thursday.

The world number one was never outside his comfort zone in his 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Guido Pella that lasted two hours on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Nadal would face just four break points in the match, all of them coming in his opening service game. The King of Clay saved them all and never looked back, improving his record to 81-2 in the Parisian red stuff.

Pella’s left-hand had few answers for Nadal’s top-spinning forehand, which was responsible for many of the 37 winners he notched up.

Nadal broke early in each set and controlled proceedings with metronomic discipline. The victory keeps his hopes of a record 11th title in Paris alive.

Waiting for Nadal in the third round is crowd favourite Richard Gasquet, who defeated Malek Jaziri 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. Nadal has won all 15 of their meetings on the ATP Tour and as a result, Gasquet is under no illusions as to the challenge he faces.

“I’ll try to do my best, because unless there is a disaster, as you said, he has a good chance of winning,” quipped the Frenchman.

“He’s extraordinary. We all know he is. I’m just going to get on the court and try to play a good match… I want to go there and to do my best.”

Elsewhere, fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro defeated Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in a routine victory and sixth seed Kevin Anderson survived a second set scare to beat Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.

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