Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Romania strengthens military cooperation with the US

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users celebrate release of French hostages

Read more

HIGH PROFILE

Justine Dupont, surfer

Read more

REVISITED

In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

Read more

REPORTERS

Indian election: Votes for sale

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Freed French Hostages: Celebration and speculation on how it all happened

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Todd Shepard, Author of 'The Algerian War and the Remaking of France'

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Guillaume Poitrinal, Chief executive of Woodeum

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria

Read more

  • Russia accuses Kiev of 'grossly' violating Geneva deal

    Read more

  • ‘I suffered mock executions,’ says freed French journalist

    Read more

  • S.Korea president says captain’s action akin to ‘murder’

    Read more

  • Boston readies for first marathon since bombings

    Read more

  • France marks 70 years of women’s voting rights

    Read more

  • Abdullah widens lead in Afghan presidential vote

    Read more

  • Leftist Sabahi to challenge Sisi for Egypt presidency

    Read more

  • Syria to hold presidential election on June 3

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

Sport

Rafael Nadal cruises into last 16 at French Open

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-03

Defending champion Rafael Nadal (pictured) easily defeated Argentine qualifier Eduardo Schwank 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday at the French Open while Andy Murray won against Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

AFP - Rafael Nadal tightened a Spanish stranglehold on the bottom half of the French Open draw on Saturday, while Andy Murray set up a last 16 round clash with Richard Gasquet.

The top seed and defending champion coasted into the fourth round with a lop-sided 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 win over qualifier Eduardo Schwank of Argentina.

Earlier sixth-seeded David Ferrer flattened Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in just 101 minutes, whilst 12th seed Nicolas Almagro saw off the challenge of Argentina's Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

Marcel Granollers then edged a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-1 win over French wildcard Paul-Henri Mathieu to ensure that half of the qualifiers for the last 16 in the bottom half of the draw were from Spain.

In contrast, there were no Spaniards through in the top half of the draw.

Murray looked to be over the lower back problems that beset him in the previous round as he defeated Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal, who turns 26 on Sunday, had Schwank on the defensive from the start, jumping out into a 4-0 lead that set the tone for the entire match.

In the end he conceded just eight games, taking his total in three matches to a meagre 17.

The Spaniard is set on winning the French Open for a record seventh time in eight years, having first played at Roland Garros in 2005 as an 18-year-old.

With a match record of 48-1 in his favour Nadal next goes up against Juan Monaco of Argentina who defeated Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4.

"I have started well the tournament - into the second week now, that is the most important thing," he said.

"Now I have a big confrontation against Monaco. He is having a fantastic season."

The 30-year-old Ferrer, who has yet to make it past the quarter-finals at Roland Garros despite being one of the best players on clay for the last few years, had Youzhny by the throat from the start, winning the first set 6-0 and leading 2-0 in the second before the Russian got off the mark.

Thereafter Ferrer conceded just another three games as he set up a last 16 round meeting with Granollers.

"This match was easier than planned, and I was immediately into the match," he said.

"When the situation was a bit difficult, I managed to overcome these difficulties.

Almagro's routine win over Mayer was his seventh straight victory following his title triumph in Nice last week.

His previous best at Roland Garros were quarter-final appearances in 2008 and 2010 and on both occasions he lost to Nadal who he will face again should the two Spaniards make it through to the last eight.

On his rest day Friday, Murray had been left fielding criticism from such as British legend Virginia Wade and French champion Henri Leconte that he had acted in an unsportsmanlike manner in his win over Jarkko Nieminen on Thursday.

In that tie he had looked down and out in the first few games, clutching at his lower back and legs and needing medical treatment three times.

After dropping the first set 6-1, Murray suddenly settled down in the second and eventually ran out an easy winner.

Many felt his actions could have destabilized his opponent whose game fell apart after the opening set.

Against Giraldo though there was no sign of the back spasms that Murray said had been the problem against Nieminen and a single break in each set was enough to put him through into the last 16 at Roland Garros for the fourth straight year.

"Obviously it was very hot today and I warmed up very quickly," he said.

"I felt better yesterday when I woke up than I had the day before, and then had a very light practice.

"I woke up this morning again feeling better than I did, but that's because of the work my physio has done the last 48 hours and all the recovery work that we've done between the last match and now."

Also through to the last 16 was eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia who worked his way past Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

Tipsarevic won the last five games of the match after being 4-1 down in the third set to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros for the first time and will next take on Almagro.

There was better news for home fans with the victory of 17th seed Richard Gasquet 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 over German veteran Tommy Haas.

Gasquet, who won 13 games in a row from 5-3 ahead in the second set to destroy Haas, will next play Murray in a bid to reach the French Open last eight for the first time.

Date created : 2012-06-02

  • TENNIS - FRENCH OPEN

    Roger Federer equals Jimmy Connors' record at French Open

    Read more

  • Tennis - FRENCH OPEN

    Frenchman Tsonga denies pressure as Roland Garros opens

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)