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Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 19:05 UK

Ruthless Nadal into round three

Venue: Roland Garros Date: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live on BBC Red Button, live streaming and daily text commentary on BBC Sport website, updates on BBC Radio 5 Live plus second week commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. TV coverage on Eurosport.

Rafael Nadal
Nadal is now unbeaten in a record 30 matches at Roland Garros

World number one Rafael Nadal will play Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of the French Open after powering past Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-1 6-4 6-1.

After taking the first set comfortably, the Spaniard was made to work harder for the second but still prevailed.

Gabashvili showed spirit but was ultimately powerless to prevent Nadal sealing the match in straight sets.

Seventh seed Gilles Simon is also through after a 7-5 6-0 6-1 win over American Robert Kendrick.

But Wednesday saw two players bow out of their last French Open.

Russian Marat Safin mixed flashes of brilliance with moments of petulance as he lost a five-set epic against wildcard Josselin Ouanna 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 3-6 10-8.

"Terrible first serve... and of course, backhand didn't do anything," was the verdict of the 29-year-old, who will retire at the end of the season.

"Basically nothing today...

"It's a terrible way to finish with the French Open but anyway... it's OK. It's not so sad. It doesn't get me emotional."

Fabrice Santoro also played his last singles match at Roland Garros, losing 6-3 6-1 3-6 6-4 to Belgium's Christophe Rochus on his 20th appearance at his home Grand Slam.

"At match point, I had this feeling that I was turning a page, even though I still have 10 tournaments that I'll play," said the 36-year-old, who will also quit at the end of the year.

In other results on Wednesday, David Ferrer of Spain edged a five-set thriller against German Nicolas Kiefer 6-3 5-7 6-4 3-6 6-2, while eighth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco comfortably beat German Philipp Petzschner 6-1 6-1 6-3.

Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, seeded 12th, scored a similarly emphatic victory over Rui Machado, beating the Portuguese 6-3 6-2 6-3, but his compatriot Nicolas Massu was beaten 6-1 6-1 6-2 by the 17th-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

Number 10 seed Nikolay Davydenko has to wait before finishing his match against Argentine Diego Junqueira, but the Russian has the advantage with the score 4-6 6-3 6-0 2-2.

Australia's former world number one Hewitt is next up for Nadal after a comfortable 6-4 6-3 6-1 straight-sets win over 88th-ranked Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.

"It's always very tough to play against Lleyton," added Nadal. "I will have to play well to have chances to win."

Gabashvili began extremely well against Nadal, immediately earning three break points, but the defending champion quickly refocused and claimed the next five to avert danger.


Whilst the result was never in doubt, particularly when Nadal rushed to a 4-0 third-set advantage, the Russian still provided moments of resistance to take away some pride from what was essentially an impressive Nadal procession to round three.

Nadal's victory means he has now bettered Chris Evert's record of 30 successive wins at Roland Garros, as he chases five successive French Open titles.

Evert set her sequence between 1974 and 1981, although she didn't play from 1976-1978.

"I came here to get a result without thinking about these records," said Nadal.

"The important thing is to play my best tennis and be there on the final Sunday.

"I played better today than the first day - I won in three sets so that's good and I am happy to be in the third round."

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see also
French Open day four as it happened
27 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day four pictures
27 May 09 |  Tennis
Battling Murray sees off Starace
27 May 09 |  Tennis
Sizzling Sharapova wins thriller
27 May 09 |  Tennis
Retirement sends Djokovic through
26 May 09 |  Tennis
Serena survives first-round test
26 May 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Rafa the unstoppable?
21 May 09 |  Tennis

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