Rafael Nadal was celebrating his 35th birthday in his favorite Roland Garros. But, he had to celebrate it in an empty Phillippe Chatrier. The match against Richard Gasquet was played behind closed doors. This was due to the French government’s Covid-19 curfew in Paris. This had forced the organisers to vacate fans from the premise. The match against Gasquet was a masterclass from Nadal as he registered his 102nd win in Roland Garros.
Nadal extended his head-to-head record against Gasquet to 17-0 as he demolished the Frenchman 6-0 7-5 6-2. The Spaniard hasn’t even dropped a set against the Frenchman in the past 12 wins since 2008. Rafael Nadal has not dropped a set at this tournament since beating Dominic Thiem in the 2019 final. Now, he faces unseeded Cameron Norrie in the third round.
Roger Federer advanced to the third round after beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-2, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 in what was a pretty competitive game of tennis. Federer and Cilic won one each of the opening two sets with the same scoreline (6-2) before an enthralling third. The set went to a tie-breaker in which Cilic also displayed an inspired performance. However, it was Federer’s class that prevailed as he won the tie-breaker 7-4 and went on the win the final set 6-2 to seal his victory.
Novak Djokovic also put up a magnificent performance when he beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-3,6-2,6-4 in another masterclass from the world number one. Daniil Medvedev, the second seed in the French Open, recovered from a first set loss against USA’s Tommy Paul to register a tough four-set win. Medvedev lost the first set 3-6 but recovered in grand style to win the next three sets 6-1,6-4,6-3.
Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are all in the same draw of the French Open. There might be a possibility that a clash between either Federer, Nadal or Djokovic might be possible in the fourth round to quarterfinal stage. Nadal is the 13-time winner of the French Open and another title will take him past Federer’s tally of 20. This will make him the leading Grand Slam winner in Tennis.