PARIS, May 31, 2019
Rafael Nadal cruised through the opening two rounds at Roland Garros, but the challenge stepped up a notch on Friday, with the 11-time Paris champion up against No. 27 seed David Goffin on Court Philippe Chatrier. After two comfortable sets, Nadal lost his rhythm in the third but was back on track in the fourth to secure a 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory.
The No. 2 seed sent down five aces, winning 78 per cent of his first service points to prevail after two hours and 49 minutes.
“David is a great player. 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,” Nadal said.
“I had to fight again in the fourth set and I increased a little bit again the aggressivity, and that was, at the end, the key.”
Next up for Nadal will be Juan-Ignacio Londero of Argentina, who is making his Grand Slam main draw debut. The World No. 78 battled past Frenchman Corentin Moutet, winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and 28 minutes.
Marathon men Filip Krajinovic and Grigor Dimitrov were both back in action later in the day, with Krajinovic facing No. 6 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Chatrier and Dimitrov taking on No. 24 seed Stan Wawrinka on Court 1.
Tsitsipas was leading 7-5, 6-3, 5-5 and Wawrinka was up 7-6(5), 7-6(4) when both matches were suspended due to darkness.