Nadal impresses in 300th career Grand Slam match win
Rafael Nadal recorded his 300th career Grand Slam match win at Roland Garros on Wednesday evening, overcoming home favourite Corentin Moutet in straight sets.
During the encounter the Spaniard appeared unhindered by the foot injury which has troubled him in recent weeks.
23-year-old Moutet, for all his flair and shot-making prowess, was largely unable to trouble the 13-time-champion out under the lights of Court Phillipe Chatrier.
Nadal broke the Frenchman’s serve early in the first set and did not look back, wrapping up a 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory in 2 hours and 9 minutes.
Moutet, ranked number 139 in the world, had impressed in his opening round match against former champion Stan Wawrinka, but struggled to cope with the Spaniard’s heavy weight of shot.
Before the match, he described the opportunity to play Nadal as a dream come true. “When you’re a kid, you need to have idols to identify to people,” he said. “I was a lefty, so he was my inspiration.”
The Frenchman played his best tennis of the match in the third set, breaking the Nadal serve on two occasions, much to the delight of the Parisian crowd.
But Nadal was not to be denied, winning six of the last eight games to advance to the third round.
“The last couple of months haven’t been easy so the victory helps [me to improve] a lot,” Nadal said after the match. “That gives me a chance to have another match the day after tomorrow. Let’s see what can happen.”
With the win Nadal cements his status as one of the favourites for the title, alongside World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz.
Victory in Paris in less than a fortnight would give the Spaniard a record-extending 14th French Open crown and 22nd grand slam title.
He will now face Dutch player Botic van de Zandschulp on Friday for a place in the Round of 16.
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