Paris, Oct 3 (IANS) Twelve time champion Rafael Nadal has stormed into the fourth round of the ongoing French Open tournament after he registered an emphatic straight-sets win over Italy’s Stefano Travaglia.
Nadal, who is seeking a 20th Grand Slam title to equal Roger Federer’s record, on Friday defeated Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 in one hour and 35 minutes on a covered Court Philippe-Chatrier to register his 96th victory at Roland Garros.
The defending champion has dropped just 19 games through his opening three matches at this year’s clay court grand slam.
“We are in a very strange situation, after a lot of months without much tennis, especially for me, that I didn’t play in America, I don’t know if it’s a positive thing or a negative thing,” Nadal said, when asked how important it was to keep his early-round matches short and sweet as per the official tournament website.
“But I take it like a very positive thing. I am playing quite well to win against a player like Stefano today with this score,” he added.
The Spaniard produced 28 winners, 15 more than his opponent, while he made just 13 unforced errors. Travaglia, who had beaten former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan in his previous round, made 24 mistakes.
Nadal will face Sebastian Korda, the son of 1998 Australian Open winner Petr Korda, in the next round.
“Today I played against an opponent that he was playing very well,” said Nadal, who may play US Open winner Dominic Thiem in the semi-final, followed by the top-seeded Djokovic in the title match.
“I went on court with the highest respect, just with the goal to play my best. I made a step forward in a lot of ways. He played a great second set, was close. I was able to find a way. Happy for that. I don’t feel that I am that dominant. The result says, but the game is another story. Every single match is a challenge,” he added.
In the other men’s singles match, former champion Stan Wawrinka saw his run at this year’s Roland Garros end after he was turfed out by French wildcard and world No. 239 Hugo Gaston 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in a five-set battle lasting over three hours.