Rafael Nadal continues his walk on his favorite clay court at Roland Garros. This Friday, in the third round, the Spaniard easily disposed of the Italian Stefano Travaglia, 74th player in the world, in three sets (6-1, 6-4, 6-0) and 1h37 of play. On the Court Philippe- Chatrier, the Majorcan did not have to work to validate his qualification for the knockout stages of the French Open. His next opponent will be the American Sebastian Korda, 213th player in the world and resulting from the qualifications.
Nine points, that’s what Stefano Travaglia let pass before finally stopping the bleeding. Before this third round, the two men had never met and if the Italian could perhaps rely on a possible effect of surprise, it was ultimately nothing. At the end of a first set concluded in just 25 short minutes of play and with two breaks to the key (6-1), Rafael Nadal had already set the scene, leaving only six small points to his opponent , including two on his service.
Nadal is gaining momentum
In the second set, the 74th player in the world seemed to pick up the pace, even playing on a par with the No.2 seed, at least until the seventh game. But in the end, the illusion was short-lived and that’s when his prestigious opponent got a new break point, which he converted, to then win this second set, on a final shutout, as in the first (6-4) .
If in Rome, the Spaniard was worrying in the service, his start at Roland Garros is reassuring at this level. In this match, Rafael Nadal simply had no break point against him. Moreover, as at the beginning of the meeting, the protégé of Carlos Moya did not drag in the third and last round, which he even quietly concluded (6-0).
A nice rise in power confirmed for the former world number 1, above the lot in all areas (28 winning points against 13 and 13 unforced errors against 24), in a tournament he has won twelve times and including he is the three-time defending champion. Stefano Travaglia, now 28 years old and revealing himself late on the circuit, had never played a third round in a Grand Slam, he the slayer of Pablo Andujar and Kei Nishikori in the previous laps.
For his part, Rafael Nadal signs his 96th victory at Roland Garros and will certainly have the opportunity to sign a 97th, facing the American surprise, namely Sebastian Korda. It will be necessary, in any case, to win a 14th quarter-final Porte d’Auteuil.