Ruthless Rafael Nadal sends Richard Gasquet crashing out as French challenge fades

Nadal has since become a multiple Grand Slam victor and the most successful clay-court player ever, while Gasquet did not live up to the huge expectations surrounding him at the start of his professional career.

Rafael Nadal showed no signs of fatigue following his straight sets win over home favourite Richard Gasquet on Saturday as he rallied with another Frenchman on court Philippe-Chatrier.

'You have lots of fans all over the world but this ball boy is the biggest, ' the on-court presenter told Nadal.

It was only a brief rally, as Nadal responded in his usual clinical way.

"It was a good feeling".

"Dominic adapts well to clay, but the reality is you have to play well against all competition and on all surfaces", Toni added. "Probably for him, today was a great day, especially here on this unbelievable court".

Play has started under overcast skies at the French Open with second-seeded Alexander Zverev and fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov both bidding to reach the fourth round for the first time.

The 31-year-old Russian, seeded 28th after missing this tournament the last two years, needed 59 minutes to win on Chatrier against the sixth-seeded Czech.


They were still lining up long after Halep had set about beating Andrea Petkovic 7-5 6-0.

Nadal serves during his three-set win.

He has now won 30 sets in a row on the Parisian red dust and his last-16 opponent, 70th ranked 22-year-old German Maximilian Marterer, does not exactly seem equipped to cope with the Mallorcan's range of weapons.

Competing in the third round of the French Open, Maria Sharapova has shared some pictures on her Instagram page in the wake of a tough match against Donna Vekic from Croatia. She also won the Australian Open mixed title this year with Pavic.

Gasquet advanced to the third round for the eighth straight year by defeating Malek Jaziri 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Serena Williams produced the best performance of her Grand Slam comeback to beat 11th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany 6-3, 6-4 and reach the fourth round.

Pliskova reached the third round with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over 2015 French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova.

Third-seeded Marin Cilic overcame a concentration lapse to advance to the third round with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 7-5 victory over Polish qualifier Hubert Hurkacz.

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