French Open: Top seed Rafael Nadal cruises into round three

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal won his first French Open title in 2005
French Open 2018
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 27 May-10 June
Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and app.

World number one Rafael Nadal eased into the French Open third round with a straight-set win over Guido Pella.

Ten-time champion Nadal saw off the Argentine 6-2 6-1 6-1 in two hours and three minutes at Roland Garros.

The 31-year-old Spaniard will now face France's Richard Gasquet, who beat Tunisia's Malek Jaziri 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-0.

"We have known each since 11 or 12 years old and grown up together, so it is going to be a great pleasure to play against him," said Nadal.

"I played such a good match today, I am very happy with the way I played."

Croatian third seed Marin Cilic overcame Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 6-2 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 to set up a meeting with American Steve Johnson.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro also came through unscathed, powering to a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over 36-year-old home hopeful Julien Benneteau, who was playing in his last French Open.

"When I was 10 years old I sat in this stadium and had a dream to play right here, and I will never forget all of you for fulfilling my dream," said the Frenchman.

Argentine Del Potro added: "It wasn't easy for me to play a guy like Julien in Paris. He has made a fantastic career and is still playing great tennis."

Meanwhile, Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov saw his French Open debut cut short after a 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-4 defeat by Germany's Maximilian Marterer.

"Not every week is going to be the same," said the 19-year-old 24th seed. "You run into guys that are playing well, playing hot."

South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson beat Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and will play Germany's Mischa Zverev next, while Austria's seventh seed Dominic Thiem saw off Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4 to progress.

Top Stories