Bottom half favorites Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem continued their dominating ways on Friday as the third round began at the French Open.
Nadal dropped just five games in a win over Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0. The Spaniard is now 96-2 at the French, and hasn’t come close to losing a set thus far.
“I went on court with the highest respect, just with the goal to play my best. A step forward in a lot of ways. I think he played a great second set was close. I was able to find a way, happy for that. I don’t feel that I am that dominant. The result says, but the game is another story. Every single match is a challenge.”
Up next will be Sebastian Korda. The 20-year-old son of French finalist Petr Korda, posted yet another win defeating Pedro Martinez 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
“I saw [Petr] play on the TV a lot of times,” said Nadal. “Even if I was young, playing tennis since three years old. I was following tennis on TV. Of course, I know his father. I know how good he was.”
The qualifier Korda is the last American man left. He had not won a tour match until this week. he’s looking forward to the Rafa challenge.
“I mean, he’s my biggest idol,” Korda said. “He’s one of the reasons I play tennis. Just watching him play, unbelievable competitor. Just from him I have the never-give-up mentality. Whenever I’m on court, I try to be like him. Growing up, I named my cat Rafa after him. That says a lot about how much I love the guy.”
Thiem tore through Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. He also hasn’t dropped a set. Thiem now gets not Stan Wawrinka but Hugo Gaston.
The surprising French wildcard stunned Wawrinka in five sets 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. The match had a 2.5 hour rain delay at 2-all in the third.
“I tried to play my game, but I didn’t know I could do it, until I won,” said Gaston. “Every time I go on court I try to concentrate and play my game. I am grateful of the support I had and in two days’ time I will play Thiem. I have nothing to lose.”
Alexander Zverev kept his good run going dispatching former French semifinalist Marco Cecchinato 6-1, 7-5, 6-3. But will now get Italian teen Jannik Sinner who advanced over Federico Coria.
“He is playing incredible. I don’t think he lost a set yet, so he is somebody that is definitely coming up and playing really well right now,” said Zverev of Sinner. “Somebody who has a lot of power. We will see how the match goes, but I feel like I am playing better and maybe I have a little more experience. But the young guys, they have no fear, no reason to be nervous, so it can go both ways.”
Lorenzo Sonego upset Taylor Fritz. He’ll now face Diego Schwartzman on Sunday.
Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic resumes his quest for a second career Slam against little-known Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan who is making his French Open main draw debut this week.
Andrey Rublev battles Kevin Anderson. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini are also in action.
SATURDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
** Court Philippe CHATRIER ** Début à 11h00
1 SM 3 Daniel ALTMAIER (GER) contre Matteo BERRETTINI (ITA) 
2 SD 3 Irina BARA (ROU) contre Sofia KENIN (USA)
3 SD 3 Fiona FERRO (FRA) contre Patricia Maria TIG (ROU)
4 SM 3 Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB)  contre Daniel Elahi GALAN (COL)
** Court Suzanne LENGLEN ** Début à 11h00
1 SM 3 Roberto BAUTISTA AGUT (ESP)  contre Pablo CARRENO BUSTA (ESP) 
2 SM 3 Aljaz BEDENE (SLO) contre Stefanos TSITSIPAS (GRE) 
3 SD 3 Petra KVITOVA (CZE)  contre Leylah FERNANDEZ (CAN)
4 SD 3 Danielle COLLINS (USA) contre Garbiñe MUGURUZA (ESP) 
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