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Nadal, Djokovic advance to third round

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Rafael Nadal serves the ball to Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis during their men’s second round match at the French Tennis Open…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP.

Rafael Nadal serves the ball to Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis during their men’s second round match at the French Tennis Open…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP.

In his second round match against Facundo Bagnis of Argentina, Rafael Nadal got up to a 5-2 lead in the first set. In the eighth game, there was a spirited effort by Bagnis.

Down 15-30, a service winner leveled points and he was game point but forced to deuce. The Argentinean eventually won the game on the first advantage.

Nadal took the first point in the ninth game. There was a 16-shot rally in the second but lost by Bagnis on a crosscourt backhand that sailed past the sideline.

Nadal took the next three points to clinch the set 6-3. The close game was evidenced by 32 total points won by Nadal to 23 by Bagnis.
Would there be a straight whitewash by Nadal? Looked likely, with a 6-0 second set victory in which he won a total 25 points to his opponent’s 11.

The one-sided tally continued in the third set. Nadal broke Facundo’s serve in the very first game and held to lead 2-0. In the third game, Facundo came out with greater determination.

A forehand winner gave him the first point; a service winner the second, then an ace, with a serve into Nadal’s body for the third game.

Long applause by the stadium crowd. Nadal took the fourth game in short time and forced his opponent to deuce before taking the service break, to lead four games to one.

Nadal won his serve to take a 5-1 lead. A long game revealed Facundo’s effort and he was rewarded in taking the seventh game. Serving for the match, Nadal fell behind 15-30 but got up to game and match point but lost it.

He got the advantage for the second match-point but an overhead smash winner by his opponent cancelled it. Facundo got the next advantage point and Nadal forced to another deuce.

On the next, Nadal lost the game on a back- hand that went just wide off the side line. Serving to stay in the match in the ninth game, the Argentinean fell back 15-40 and never recovered as Nadal clinched the game, set and match.

The Spanish Maestro of the clay-court game exhibited experience. He served at lower speeds than his opponent, getting in over 70 percent of first serves. Bagnis went for the big serves, attaining 220kph in some deliveries.



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