Sunday, September 25

Nadal reinforces his self-esteem and is already in the round of 16 in Paris

Rafa Nadal, during his third round match at Roland Garros. / AFP

Roland Garros | third round

The Balearic player beats the Dutch Van de Zandschulp in three sets and the pass to the quarterfinals will be played against Augger-Aliassime, pupil of Toni Nadal

Rafa Nadal is already in the round of 16 at Roland Garros. The Balearic player reinforced his self-esteem this Friday by beating Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the third round, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, and continuing his path towards what would be his fourteenth title in the Parisian Grand Slam. After defeating the number 29 in the world without complications, Nadal will fight for a place in the quarterfinals on Sunday against the Canadian Felix Augger-Aliassime, pupil of Toni Nadal, uncle of the Manacorense tennis player, who has not yielded so far in the tournament a single set and needed only two hours and 10 minutes to defeat Van de Zandschulp.

Novak Djokovic also made it to the round of 16 this Friday, beating Slovenian Aljak Bedene, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2, before Nadal offered another lesson in solidity against Van de Zandschulp, victim of the 21-time champion of Grand Slam, who walks like a firm step in his favorite land and goes from less to more. In the event that Nadal and Djokovic meet the forecasts on Sunday – the Serbian will play against the Argentine Diego Schwartzman – both will meet in the quarterfinals. Nadal signed in the third round his victory number 301 in Grand Slam tournaments and already has 108 wins and only three defeats in the ‘major’ in the French capital.

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“I played a good match against a difficult rival”, Nadal congratulated himself after signing a new record, since the man from Manacor won 23 games in a row serving an opponent who, despite standing up in the last round, never He had options against the former world number one, who for the moment has forgotten about his chronic foot injury in the French capital. Although Van de Zadschulp boasts of a punch and began by breaking the Spaniard’s serve, the Dutchman would no longer win a single point with Nadal’s serve in the first set. From then on, the duel continued to be a Nadal monologue at the Suzanne Lenglen, with Zinedide Zidane among the spectators of such an unbalanced encounter.

Just as Jordan Thompson and Corentin Moutet were unable to snatch a set from Nadal before, the Dutchman was also unable to break the momentum in Nadal’s best match in this edition, waiting for greater obstacles, such as the enormous challenge that would await him in their way to the semi-finals. With total solvency, Nadal qualified for the round of 16 at Roland Garros for the seventeenth time in eighteen editions, and he achieved it with 87% with his first service, 54% with the second and only 13 unforced errors, compared to 31 in his rival.

On Sunday he awaits Augger-Aliassime, whom Nadal has defeated the only time they have faced each other so far, 6-3 and 6-3 at the Masters 1,000 in Madrid in 2019. The Canadian also had to battle and suffer this Friday for three hours against the Serbian Filip Krajinovic, whom he won 7-6 (5), 6-2, 5-7 and 6-1. Djokovic also advances steadily in the same part of the draw, who has not lost a set so far in the tournament nor has he shown signs of weakness.

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