French Open: Rafael Nadal survives David Goffin scare to reach Round 4

first_imgDefending champion Rafael Nadal dropped his first set at this year’s French Open but stayed firmly on course for title number 12 with a 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3 defeat of David Goffin on Friday.Nadal began at a frightening pace and dropped one point on serve in the opening set and try as he might Goffin could not get much closer to the marauding Mallorcan in the second.It had looked like the boxing equivalent of a heavyweight taking on a lightweight, but Goffin showed some steel to go with his silky strokes to punch his way back into contention.With the crowd offering the Belgian plenty of backing, he broke Nadal’s serve out of nowhere at 4-4 and then held to extend the contest into the early evening sunshine.It was 10 years to the day that Nadal lost to Robin Soderling, one of only two defeats he has suffered in Paris during his long reign as the king of clay, but any flicker of hope Goffin had of making it three was quickly extinguished.Nadal, realising he was suddenly in a battle, stamped his authority back on the contest and opened up a commanding lead in the fourth that he never relinquished.The second seed finished if off on his first match point when Goffin skewed a backhand wide.When Nadal won a record-extending 11th French Open title last year, the only set he lost came against Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.Nadal will next play Juan Ignacio Londero or French wild card Corentin Moutet.advertisementMeanwhile, Kei Nishikori needed a little over 4 hours to beat Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 and reach the fourth round.Also, 2016 champion Garbiñe Muguruza improved to 6-0 in third-round matches at Roland Garros after beating ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3.French player Benoit Paire reached the fourth round in Paris for the first time when Pablo Carreño Busta retired from their match with a right thigh injury. Paire was leading 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (1).Also, tournament organizers said Amanda Anisimova, the 17-year-old American who reached the third round in singles, withdrew from a doubles match with a viral illness. Anisimova and partner Xenia Knoll were trailing 5-0 in the first set against Anna-Lena Friedsam and Laura Siegemund when they retired.Anisimova will face Irina-Camelia Begu for a spot in the fourth round of the singles draw.Also Read | Roger Federer becomes oldest man to reach 4th round at Roland GarrosAlso Read | French Open: Petra Martic knocks out 2nd seed Karolina Pliskovalast_img

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