Nadal and Raonic Cruise, Djokovic Bends But Doesn’t Break at French Open
by Staff | June 2nd, 2017, 5:33 pm
  • 32 Comments

Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic are one win away from playing each other, and neither had a difficult time advancing on Friday at Roland Garros, losing only two games between them to opponents in Paris.


The No. 4-seeded Nadal was at the top of his game in steamrolling a hapless Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 6-1, 6-0. The No. 5-seeded Raonic advanced when Spanish opponent Guillermo Garcia-Lopez retired with the Canadian leading 6-1, 1-0.

“Today was one of the best matches I have ever played, without a doubt,” said Nadal, who will next meet No. 17-seeded countryman Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. “I am really happy because I have a really good feeling. Every day my training is going very well, my practice. When I have a match, I play very well.”

Raonic will next meet No. 20-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who busta-ed No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov out of the tournament 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem were other Top 10 seeds advancing Friday. The No. 2-seeded Djokovic weathered a five-set storm from Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, while the No. 6-seeded Thiem moved past No. 25-seeded American Steve Johnson 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3.

“It’s really tragedy what happened,” Thiem said regarding the recent passing of Johnson’s father. “You wish it on nobody. Especially him. He’s a very, very nice guy. It was, of course, very emotional for him. It also shows that there are way more important things than tennis. I think it was unbelievable tough for him to even play here.”

Djokovic said, essentially, what doesn’t break him can only make him stronger.

“Sometimes you need to be challenged in order for certain things to surface, which maybe are not surfacing if you’re winning comfortably,” the Serb said. “That’s going to happen more as I go deeper in the tournament because the matches and opponents are going to get tougher. I didn’t play too many five-setters the past couple of years. I see a lot of good things in it. I think it will put me in a good place mentally as well.”

Thiem will next face unseeded Argentine Horacio Zeballos, who advanced when No. 10 David Goffin injured himself sliding into the rolled-up tarp at the back of the court during the first set of their encounter Friday.

“He had an MRI, and the news is reassuring,” said Goffin’s coach, Thierry Cleemput. “There is no tearing of the ligaments and no bone that’s been broken, either. That’s the only thing we can say. We can’t say much more. There is an edema, and in 48 hours we will see how things go on.”

Djokovic will next meet No. 19-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who toppled No. 16 seed Lucas Pouille 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

Matches to look for on Saturday at the French Open are (1) Andy Murray vs. (29) Juan Martin del Potro, (15) Gael Monfils vs. (24) Richard Gasquet, and (3) Stan Wawrinka vs. (28) Fabio Fognini.


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32 Comments for Nadal and Raonic Cruise, Djokovic Bends But Doesn’t Break at French Open

JM01 Says:

Novak will not go any further than next round or QF with that serve of his and way too many unforced errors from him which is not good for his style of play. If by luck he reaches the SF, he is going to get straight setted by Rafa. Repeat of 2015 RG QF.


Travis Bickle Says:

JM01,

I am also hoping for the repeat of 2015 RG QF.
What was the score again?


chrisford1 Says:

Oooooooo, JMO1!
Travis has got you there!


skeezer Says:

“Djokovic said, essentially, what doesn’t break him can only make him stronger.”
Oh, so now he is talking it up, what happened the first qtr of this year? Broken.


Giles Says:

Happy 31st birthday Rafa. 👍


FedExpress Says:

Delpo you choker. Should have had the set in the bag.


FedExpress Says:

I cant. I just cant. What a chokefest.


FedExpress Says:

Delpo shows mental toughness here and there but overall chokes against the big guys.


Daniel Says:

Murray on fire this third set. Nice seeing him playing well. HE knows hot to trouble DelPo who usually is unable to play well against Murray.

Foggy serving for the set against Wawa. That match could be long.


Anto Says:

wow bagelled delpo in the third set. Well done murray.


Margot Says:

Pretty damn fabulous from Andy in the 3rd set!
C’mon!


J-Kath Says:

Well done Andy

Not as pale as he was on Thursday and is certainly moving better and not looking fatigued. If he gets rid of that cough and gets more first serve in – then he has a change to be a finalist (the winner will be Rafa).


Daniel Says:

If Kei and Wawa confirm their leads, all top 8 seeds will be through R16 with a high chance of all advancing to QF. Don’t recall last time this happen in a Slam


Colin Says:

FedExpress, to “choke” means to lose from a winning position. Once the first set was over, Delpo was unlikely to win the match, in part because he wasn’t fit.

Still, if you say he choked it enables you to downgrade Andy’s performance, which was excellent considering he hasn’t been in the best of health himself.

J-Kath, if Muzza continues to grow in confidence and stays healthy, he ought to reach the final, where I think he’d stand a decent chance of winning. Rafa’s serve hasn’t the sheer speed of Delpo or Isner, and it’s easier to get into a rally, where Andy can use his excellent lob, Rafa being a tad smaller than Delpo or Isner. Nole would be a more dangerous opponent for Andy, I think, on present form.


J-Kath Says:

OK Daniel, but….

Andy usually does pretty well against the taller players, e.g. Isner. The difference in height between Rafa, Andy and Nole is not really significant….plus Andy is the taller of the three.
I personally think Rafa will beat Nole – unless there is a improvement in Nole’s approach (he seems less composed – quick to anger) – Yes I Andy has some bad-tempered discussions with himself – he abuses himself -but that’s not new) .

Still hope Andy might make the final and think Rafa will be there to beat him. What can I say? We both might be wrong.


RZ Says:

So much for my crazy prediction that NK would win the dubs.


Willow Says:

Fedexpess you over use that term choke here, there was no choking, as Colin says Delpo was hardly in a winning position, many predicted this match would be tight going the distance, Delpo didnt even win a set, Murray played brilliantly, end of ….


RZ Says:

Need to gripe here for a minute. I’m watching coverage on NBC and because of the current rain delays, they are showing completed matches. However the commentators are calling it as if it’s a live match. John McEnroe basically gave away the results of the Murray/Delpo match without saying the score. While this doesn’t affect me since I already know the results, I’m thinking of all these people who may not know what happened now do, and we’re only into the first set on their coverage. Also NBC in their wisdom showed the scores of completed matches in the ticker right before starting coverage.


Willow Says:

RZ Its exactly the same when they read out the football scores on the news, they seem to forget that some people actually want to watch Match of The Day and be surprised because they havent seen the final scores ….


RZ Says:

@Willow – it’s so annoying. I know we live in times where instant information is readily available but it’s like giving away the ending of a movie without a spoiler alert.


Willow Says:

RZ So true grr ….


Markus Says:

Yesterday it was “discomfort as number 1″, today it is “choke”. There are too many mind readers in this site that make it hard to appreciate the matches and the players for what they are. So, au revoir, I will stick to just watching the matches with no coloration from commentators here who are mostly biased anyway.


J-Kath Says:

Markus: You don’t need to swallow the content of “mind readers” here – just say what you want…this from someone who has always supported a flawed human being in the sense that he bullies himself as if he were a Dickensian lad subject to the whip.

“Au revoir” often means “see you soon”.
So I look forward to welcoming you back tomorrow, Yes?


J-Kath Says:

Oh dear – Wilmot/Margot: do you see the news now? Vans veered off road at London Bridge and about 10 people are hurt – another terrorist attack?


Daniel Says:

Packed day tomorrow. Rain forecasted again for finals on sunday, but a lot can change.


Humble Rafa Says:

Thank you for the birthday wishes. Uncle Toni wished me first thing in the morning. Good uncles are hard to beat.


Willow Says:

That was some cake you got Humble Rafa ;-) ….


Margot Says:

Horrid for him Kath, but fortunately he’s at the end of his career, not the beginning, like 4K and many other young players.


J-Kath Says:

Yep Margot, right.

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