French Open 2019: Brutal Rafael Nadal through to French Open third round

Rafael Nadal celebrates beating Yannick Maden in three sets 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, at the Roland Garros in Paris on Wednesday (AP Photo)

Rafael Nadal left German qualifier Yannick Maden no hope as he booked his ticket for the third round of the French Open in ruthless fashion with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory on Wednesday.

The defending champion, chasing a record-extending 12th title at Roland Garros, powered through the first two sets before being slightly bothered in the third.

But the second seed from Spain, who looks to become the first player to win a Grand Slam title 12 times, stayed business like when Maden broke back for 4-4 and the contest ended when the world number 114 returned wide.

“He’s a good player, he had won four matches — three in qualifications — going into this match, he had gained confidence,” an always gracious Nadal told a courtside interviewer on Court Suzanne Lenglen, where he has never lost.

His only two defeats in 90 matches here happened on the main Court Philippe Chatrier.

“For me it is an important victory, playing here in Paris, at Roland Garros, is always incredible,” the 32-year-old added.

Nadal will take on Belgian David Goffin, the 27th seed, for a place in the fourth round.

Tsitsipas beats tricky Hugo Dellien

Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas came through a stern test against tricky Bolivian Hugo Dellien to book his place in the French Open third round for the first time on Wednesday.

The sixth seed eventually won an intriguing claycourt contest 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 in front of an appreciative crowd on the stunning Court Simonne Mathieu, but it was a sweat.

Claycourt specialist Dellien, whose opening-round win was the first by a Bolivian player in a Grand Slam tournament since 1984, played a sensational 10th game to take the opening set despite needing treatment on his ankle.

Tsitsipas, 20, then took control with his aggressive all-round game but Dellien, who produced a succession of stunning drop shots, threatened to drag the match into a decider.

The world number 86 broke at the start of the fourth set, much to the annoyance of Tsitsipas who received a warning for slamming his racket into the net tape.

Dellien had the chance for a double break at 3-1 but Tsitsipas survived that mini-crisis and regained control. It was never straightforward, though, and the crowd roared their approval when Dellien, who quit tennis in 2016 to set up an ice company, saved three match points at 4-5, the second with yet another cunning drop shot.

Tsitsipas was in no mood to be extended longer, however pleasant the surroundings of the new show court in the botanical gardens might be and closed it out two games later with a clubbing forehand winner.

Nishikori downs Tsonga

Japan’s Kei Nishikori overcame a sluggish start to see off local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-4 and reach the third round of the French Open on Wednesday.

The seventh seed looked tight in the opening set before finding his range on Court Philippe-Chatrier, rallying back from a break down in the fourth to advance in solid fashion.

Nishikori will face Serbian 31st seed Laslo Djere for a place in the fourth round.

Another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, was also sent packing as he slumped to a 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat by Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero.

A Gasquet victory would have guaranteed a French presence in the fourth round after the 20-year-old Corentin Moutet, Londero’s next opponent, downed Argentine 19th seed Guido Pella.

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