28th May 2022 – (Paris) Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both won their third-round matches at the French Open on Friday, while 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest player to reach the fourth round since 2006.
Despite dropped serve in the opening game against Dutch player Botic Van de Zandschulp, Nadal, who had just won his 300th Grand Slam match in the last round broke serve in the second game and dominated the first set 6-3.
The King of Clay faced little opposition in the second set, leading 5-0 before winning 6-2.
Nadal won the first four games of the third set, but Van de Zandschulp won the next three. The two then won a game respectively, with Nadal leading 5-4. In the tenth game, although the Dutchman saved a match point, Nadal, who was serving, scored two straight points to seal the victory.
In the next round, Nadal will face Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, who is coached by Nadal’s uncle Toni Nadal.
“He (Toni Nadal) is a professional and he is with another player. I don’t know what’s going to happen if he’s going to stay in the box or not, but I don’t care. I have zero problems with that. So it’s not a story at all for me,” said Nadal.
Defending champion Djokovic quickly took control after 2-2 in the first set, beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. The Serbian is aiming to retain his title in Paris after he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to capture his second Roland Garros crown last year.
In the evening session, Spanish starlet Alcaraz defeated Sebastian Korda 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Since Novak Djokovic in 2006, the 19-year-old player became the youngest player to reach the fourth round of the French Open.
“It’s amazing to play in such a great atmosphere. I think the people enjoyed the match and I’m glad to play in front of such a good crowd,” said Alcaraz.
“In the early matches, I’m trying to have fun out there. I love playing tennis and playing on these courts, so I’m enjoying every second,” he added.
In the second round of women’s doubles, Zhang Shuai and Caty McNally defeated Aldila Sutjiadi and Miyu Kato in two straight sets. China’s Han Xinyun and Zhu Lin won the first set 6-0 over Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko but were eliminated after losing the next two sets.