Just as he did in his first match against Daniel Brands, Rafael Nadal lost the first set of his second-round encounter with Slovak Martin Klizan at the French Open on Friday. But it wasn’t long before the Spanish champion got back into his stride, eventually easing to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win.
Klizan, the 2006 junior champion at Roland Garros, quickly discovered that the Nadal across the other side of the net was not the Nadal of previous years. And he duly punished the seven-time champion — who was upset about the rescheduling of the match after Thursday’s rain — for his poor serve, frequent errors and erratic forehand.
But as he almost always does, Nadal corrected, raised his game and found a path to victory. Number 27 seed Fabio Fognini now awaits the Mallorcan in round three, along with the prospect of having to play three games in four days to reach the quarterfinals.
Also on Friday, fourth-seeded David Ferrer steamed past fellow Spaniard Feliciano López in straight sets in their round-three clash, while 11th seed Nicolás Almagro did the same against Italy’s Andreas Seppi. Veteran Tommy Robredo also made it into round four after emerging victorious from a five-setter against Gaël Monfils.
In the second round, Fernando Verdasco similarly took eighth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic to five sets, but ultimately succumbed 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 5-7, 8-6.
In the women’s draw, Carla Suárez eased into the fourth round with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Puerto Rico’s Mónica Puig.