Rafael Nadal advanced to the fourth round of the French Open here on Friday with a 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over David Goffin. Chasing his 12th Roland Garros title, the world number two kept the momentum going from his second round match and thrashed Goffin in the third round match, which lasted for two hours and 49 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Goffin helplessly struggled to gain a point in the opening set which Nadal clinched by 6-1. Nadal seemed flawless and won the second set as well.
However, the Spaniard struggled in the third set as Goffin hit back furiously and secured a 6-4 victory. In the fourth set, Nadal made a comeback 6-3 and won the match. This is Nadal’s 89th win in 91 matches played in Paris and lost only two.
Nadal will now play against Juan Ignacio Londero, who defeated Corentin Moutet, in the fourth round.
In the women’s singles, World No. 31 Petra Martic of Croatia knocked out world No. 2 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, securing a spot in the French Open round of 16. The 2019 Italian Open champion Pliskova has lost all hope to return to world No. 1, currently occupied by Japanese Naomi Osaka, after her 6-3, 6-3 defeat in almost an hour and a half at the hands of Martic.
Martic had not lost more than six games in her previous two matches combined, showing a great physical state by winning in straight sets. The 29-year-old prevailed over Ons Jabeur 6-1, 6-2 in the first round, and defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-1 in the second one.
The 2019 winner of the Istanbul Cup assumed her 14th victory on clay this season, recording a number more than any other tennis player; ahead of Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands and Maria Sakkari of Greece.
In the upcoming round, Martic is scheduled to take on either Kaia Kanepi of Estonia or Veronika Kudermetova of Russia.
Osaka, who is looking for her third consecutive Grand Slam title in Paris after being the 2019 US Open and Australian Open champion, has seen all the rivals who could dethrone her falling one by one including injured Kiki Bertens and Germany’s Angelique Kerber.
Former world No. 1 Kerber fell 6-4, 6-2 to world No. 81 Anastasia Potapova of Russia in the tournament’s first round.
In other Roland Garros action, Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, world No. 29, lost her campaign for the title after Czech Marketa Vondrousova defeated her 6-4, 6-4. Vondrousova is set to square off against the winner between world No. 12 Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia or No.20 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium.
(With Agency Inputs)