The three Spaniards have reached the third round of Roland Garros, winning Thursday’s encounters with ease. John Isner found himself embroiled in another marathon duel, but was this time defeated after five and a half hours of play.
Rafael Nadal is still very much on track to take his seventh title at Roland Garros, where on Thursday he dominated his second-round encounter against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, sweeping him aside 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 in under two hours. The reigning champion will fight for a place among the last sixteen against Eduardo Schwank, who defeated Florian Mayer.
The other Spaniards in action on Thursday had similar success. David Ferrer and Nicolás Almagro convincingly won their matches, while Marcel Granollers’ had to be suspended due to insufficient light with the tie drawn at two sets each and will be concluded on Friday.
Ferrer left Benoit Paire well-beaten (6-3, 6-3, 6-2) in the first match of the day played on court 1 and will now go on to face Mikhail Youzhny. Almagro also won in three sets, sending Marcos Baghdatis home after a spectacular encounter which ended 6-4, 6-3, 7-5. The Spaniard will now come up against Leonardo Mayer.
If Granollers wins the final set against his relatively unknown opponent, Turk Malek Jaziri, he will meet Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who defeated John Isner in the most talked-about match of the day. Mathieu came away victory after almost six hours of play against the American star, who famously played the longest match in the history of tennis two years ago, finally closing the game out this time with a final score of 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 18-16.
Also through to the third round is Andy Murray. The Scotsman overcame his back problems and managed to come back into his game against Jarkko Nieminen and finish it out 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. With the exception of John Isner, the rest of the favourites won their matches on Thursday and continue to progress, among them Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Juan Mónaco, Janko Tipsarevic, Milos Raonic and Richard Gasquet.