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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 16:29 UK

Awesome Nadal too good for Hewitt

FRENCH OPEN
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

Highlights - Nadal sees off Hewitt

Defending champion Rafael Nadal was in dominant form as he continued his rapid progress at the French Open, outplaying Lleyton Hewitt to reach round four.

After wrapping up the first set in just 30 minutes, Nadal overcame sterner resistance from Hewitt in the second set with some astonishing winners.

The top seed ran away with the third set to complete a 6-1 6-3 6-1 victory.

Elsewhere, fourth seed Novak Djokovic won his delayed second-round match with Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3 6-4 6-1.

But all eyes were on Nadal, who again showed why he is the man to beat at Roland Garros with a scintilating display against the former world number one.

Nadal piled the pressure on Hewitt from the start, breaking the Australian twice in his first three service games to lead 5-1 and saving a break point of his own before wrapping up the first set.

He's hitting the ball extremely clean and he has that heavy spin. He makes you rush, he hits passing shots on the run and makes you try harder

Hewitt on Nadal

Hewitt's serve was undone again by the Spaniard's thumping groundstrokes at the start of the second set but the former world number one showed trademark determination to win three games in a row and lead 3-2.

Stubborness on its own was not enough, however, and two phenomenal forehand winners down the line from Nadal quickly saw him break again and Hewitt soon found himself two sets down.

There was no way back from there and Nadal raced through the third set to clinch his 31st straight win in Paris.

"For sure it was my best match here so far," said the champion. "I felt much better today and a win against Lleyton is always a great win. It was an amazing result."

Hewitt admitted: "It's tough against him. You have to start well as he is such a great player when he's in front. He goes for his shots and dictates all the time so it gets harder and harder.

"He's hitting the ball extremely clean and he has that heavy spin. He makes you rush, he hits passing shots on the run and makes you try harder."

Djokovic, who has lost to Nadal in the semi-finals in each of the last two years, was almost as impressive as he finished off Stakhovsky in just 35 minutes.

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic was in total control throughout against Stakhovsky

The Serb, who led by two sets when darkness stopped play on Thursday, kept his momentum when the match resumed on Friday to outplay the world number 110 in just 35 minutes.

Stakhovsky, a qualifier who won his first match at a Grand Slam in the opening round, had led 4-1 in the second set before Djokovic rallied but he could not provide any sort of opposition in the third set.

Djokovic broke in the first game and, although he dropped his own serve when serving for the match at 5-0, he quickly wrapped up a straightforward victory.

"It's not pleasant when you don't finish a match in one day," the 22-year-old said. "But I was lucky to come back and be two sets up.

"I played really well all through the third set and I am happy to finish early so I can have more time to recover for my next match."

He will play Philipp Kohlschreiber next after the German came through a marathon match with Juan Carlos Ferrero that had also begun on Thursday.

The score was locked at two sets all overnight but Kohlschreiber, the 29th seed, eventually prevailed 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3.

606: DEBATE

Ferrero, the 2003 champion who is now ranked 104th in the world, revealed afterwards that he is contemplating retirement at the end of the season, saying: "It will depend on my ranking, my physical condition and my motivation.

"From a tennis point of view everything is fine, but as far as motivation is concerned there are ups and downs. We will see if I am in the top 100 or outside. That will affect my decision."

Spain's eighth seed Fernando Verdasco became the first man to reach the last 16 after beating compatriot Nicolas Almagro in straight sets.

Verdasco did not have things all his own way during a 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (10-8) victory but his greater consistency was the difference and, after nine match points, he prevailed to set up a clash with 10th seed Nikolay Davydenko.

Davydenko, a two-time semi-finalist at Roland Garros, saw off Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-2.

"I feel fit at the moment, and I hope I'll feel fit for the next match and continue on the same track," Verdasco said.

Elsewhere,Fernando Gonzalez, who reached the last eight in Paris in 2008, continued his impressive progress this year by beating France's Josselin Ouanna.

The 28-year-old Chilean, who like Verdasco has not dropped a set in any of his matches so far, won 7-5 6-3 7-5 to set up a clash with Victor Hanescu, who upset seventh seed Gilles Simon 6-4 6-4 6-2.

Croatia's Marin Cilic beat Radek Stepanek 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 and the 13th seed will play third seedAndy Murray in the fourth round after Janko Tipsarevic withdrew injured after losing the first two sets 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.



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see also
French Open day six as it happened
29 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day six pictures
29 May 09 |  Tennis
Murray breaks new ground in Paris
29 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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