Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the uncrowned king of clay courts, 13-time champion and world number three, celebrated his 35th birthday with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Richard Gaske of France in consecutive sets. He reached the third round of the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year, while second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia and seventh seed Serena Williams of America won their matches in successive sets to reach the fourth round on Friday.
With this win, Nadal took his career record against Gaske to 17-0. After Gaske’s loss, there is no longer any French player to compete in the third round of the French Open. Four-time defending champion Nadal showed his class in the first set, not giving Gaske a chance to win a game. Gaske improved his game in the second set and challenged Nadal. Gaske took his first break in the match to make the score 3-5. But Nadal broke Gaske’s serve with forehand winners in the 12th game to win the second set 7-5.
The third seed showed his dominance in the third set and won the last four games of the match in a row and settled the match in two hours and 16 minutes. In the third round, Nadal will face Britain’s Cameron Norie, who defeated Lloyd Harris 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, defeated by 6-2.
In the men’s section, second seed Medvedev defeated 32nd seed Riley Opelka of America 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 38 minutes to reach the fourth round. Germany’s Andrei Zverev, seeded sixth, defeated Laslo Jere of Serbia 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours and eight minutes to advance to the fourth round.
In the women’s section, Serena defeated her own country’s Daniel Rose Collins 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 25 minutes. After winning the first set, Serena went down 1-4 in the second set but she made a spectacular comeback to win the next five games in a row to make it to the fourth round.
In a major upset in the women’s section, Pavlyuchenkova defeated third seed Aranya Sabalenka of Belarus 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 in three sets to reach the fourth round, while Nishikori lost the first set to Henri Laxonen of Switzerland. After making it to the fourth round without much struggle before retiring in the second set. When Loxonen left the match in 58 minutes after losing the first set 5–7, Nishikori advanced to the next round.
Meanwhile, Federico Delbonis of Argentina defeated 27th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in two hours and six minutes to reach the fourth round. Among women, 15th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus defeated 23rd seed Madison Keys of America 6-2, 6-2 in just 70 minutes to reach the fourth round.