PARIS (REUTERS) – It was business as usual as Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a 6-1 6-0 6-3 crushing of American Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday (Sept 30) to reach the third round.
The Spanish second seed, also looking to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 men’s singles Grand Slam titles, was never troubled on court Philippe Chatrier.
The claycourt master played deep, using his forehand to devastating effect to set up a meeting with Japanese Kei Nishikori or Italian Stefano Travaglia.
After world number 236 McDonald won the second game, Nadal bagged 11 games in a row to move two sets up and despite some resistance from his opponent early in the third set, he had no trouble improving his win-loss record at Roland Garros to 95-2.
“My objective is to play as well as I can. It was a good match for me today. I’m very happy,” Nadal said.
“Then it’s another difficult match. We’ll see, I hope I’ll be at a good level. It’s always special for me to play here in Paris, on court Philippe Chatrier.”
Nadal looks to be on a semi-final collision course with Dominic Thiem, who he beat in the last two finals in Paris.
After a first-round match played in chilly and damp conditions, the 34-year-old benefited from better weather on Wednesday.
“Today was not that cold, so that’s the main thing. Not that cold, the conditions are not that bad,” said the Spaniard, who had complained about the new balls used in Paris being too heavy.
“The ball is still heavy. When is not that cold, the ball is little bit less heavy always. I see the predictions the next couple of days are not very good.”
That means Nadal may have to play under the closed roof on court Philippe Chatrier for the first time, but he looks in good form.
He fired 17 forehand winners against McDonald, faced zero break points and made only eight unforced errors in a performance that should boost his confidence after he lost in the Italian Open quarter-finals this month to Argentine Diego Schwartzman.