Fri, May 30, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Nadal gives Thiem a bruising lesson

HEATING UP:Five-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain joined compatriot and last year’s runner-up David Ferrer, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the third round

AFP, PARIS

Spain’s David Ferrer returns a backhand shot to Italy’s Simone Bolelli in their second-round match at the French Open in Paris yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Defending champion Rafael Nadal handed out a bruising lesson to highly rated Austrian Dominic Thiem yesterday as a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory took the Spaniard into the French Open third round.

Nadal, bidding to be the first man to win five Roland Garros titles in a row, had been expected to face a severe test from the 20-year-old world No. 57.

However, Thiem, who trains for big matches by running through forests carrying tree trunks to build stamina, ran out of steam despite showing glimpses of potential.

Nadal took his career record in Paris to 61 wins against a single loss and goes on to face either Leonardo Mayer of Argentina or Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili.

Thiem had beaten Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in Madrid and gave 27-year-old Nadal plenty to think about in an eight-minute opening game.

However, Nadal proceeded to pounce on Thiem’s raw inconsistencies, which saw the young Austrian break the Spaniard twice, only to be broken himself seven times and commit 41 unforced errors.

Nadal’s compatriot David Ferrer, the fifth seed and last year’s runner-up, cruised past Italy’s Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 and next faces either Italy’s Andreas Seppi or Juan Monaco of Argentina.

Ferrer has made the quarter-finals of all of his past nine majors and such was the ease of his fifth win in five against Bolelli that the most challenging part of his day was fielding questions over his grooming.

“I changed my haircut. That’s all. But there is nothing superstitious about it,” the Spaniard said.

Donald Young, the former world junior No. 1, made the third round for the first time by beating Spanish 26th seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3.

Big-serving Ivo Karlovic followed up his defeat of 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov by defeating Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer.

Karlovic fired 24 aces and did not face a break point as he made the third round for the first time.

The 2.11m Karlovic is next to face 2.03m Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who brushed aside Axel Michon, the world No. 206 from France, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

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