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Federer And Nadal Finally Tested At French Open, But Pass With Flying Colors

Roger Federer of Switzerland plays Casper Ruud of Norway during their men?s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 31 May 2019. EPA-EFE/JULIEN DE ROSA
Roger Federer of Switzerland plays Casper Ruud of Norway during their men’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 31 May 2019. EPA-EFE/JULIEN DE ROSA

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Rafael Nadal actually lost a set at the French Open on Friday. Roger Federer came close to doing the same.

 

Initially cruising against David Goffin, Nadal ran into a sudden mid-match roadblock but quickly recovered to prevail 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 49 minutes. The 11-time champion restored order following his third-set hiccup–during which Goffin could do little wrong–by breaking serve right away in the fourth for a 2-0 advantage.

 

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays David Goffin of Belgium during their men?s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 31 May 2019.  EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays David Goffin of Belgium during their men’s third round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 31 May 2019. EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT

Nadal, who had previously eradicated qualifiers Yannick Hanfmann and Yannick Maden, held serve the rest of the way to book a fourth-round meeting with another much less heralded opponent than Goffin in Juan Igancio Londero.

 

“David is a great player; that’s all,” Nadal said of the third set. “I played against a top player that had injuries, and he’s a little bit lower in the ranking now, but when he’s playing well he’s a player that already showed to everybody that he can win against every player in this world.

 

“Nothing especially happened (in the third set). Happened that in the first set I played unbelievable, I think; so, so good. Then a good second set, too.”

 

Federer played a great first two sets, as well, against Casper Ruud–dropping a total of four games. The underdog Norwegian fought back in the third, leading by a break early and eventually playing his way into a tiebreaker. Ruud erased a 6-4 deficit in the ‘breaker before succumbing 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(8).

 

“I enjoyed the match,” said Federer, who during one stretch reeled off nine games in succession. “I thought it was tough, even though I had a good run there for a while. And that also is very important for me to know, as well, that I can run through a set and a half and just take care of business and gives me confidence for the next match.”

 

That next one will come against Leonardo Mayer, a four-set winner over Nicolas Mahut.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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