ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal tops Corentin Moutet and follows Djokovic, Alcaraz

Tennis - Nadal is through to the third round at Roland Garros for the 18th time

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal tops Corentin Moutet and follows Djokovic, Alcaraz

The 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal is through to the third round for the 18th time from as many trips to Paris. Rafa ousted Corentin Moutet 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes in the night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier for his 107th Roland Garros victory from 110 encounters.

Also, the Spaniard secured his milestone 300th Major win, 19 years after delivering the first at Wimbledon! Rafa and Corentin met for the first time, and the 21-time Major winner was too strong for the Frenchman. Nadal lost serve twice and turned almost half of the return points into seven breaks from 12 opportunities, enough to emerge at the top in straight sets and enter the last 32.

Rafa fired 27 winners and 22 unforced errors and forged the victory in the mid-range exchanges from five to eight shots. He had the upper hand in the shortest rallies, and Moutet only stayed in touch in the most advanced ones.

The Spaniard closed the encounter's opening game with a service winner and grabbed a break in the next one after Moutet's double fault.

Rafael Nadal secured the 300th Major victory at Roland Garros.

Rafa closed the third game with a drop shot winner, and Corentin held at love a few minutes later to add his name on the scoreboard.

Both players served well in the rest of the set, and that early break proved crucial for Nadal. He held at 30 in game nine with a booming forehand to claim the opener 6-3 in 41 minutes. At the beginning of the second set, the Spaniard painted a forehand crosscourt winner for a break and an early advantage.

He grabbed another break in game three with a forehand down the line winner and held at love for a 4-0 lead in no time. A left-handed Frenchman experienced the third break of the set at 1-5 after the Spaniard's drop shot winner, as Rafa opened a 6-3, 6-1 advantage in 80 minutes.

Corentin made a better start in the third set, breaking Rafa at 15 and holding in the next one after the rival's backhand mistake for 2-0. Moutet netted a routine forehand in game four to drop serve and plague his chances.

Both players served well in the next three games, and Rafa built the advantage with a break at love in game eight after a volley winner at the net. The Spaniard served for the victory at 5-3, but it was not to be for him, as he netted a backhand to get broken and keep the rival alive.

Corentin got a second chance, but he failed to use it, as Rafa broke him at 15 in game ten to emerge at the top and reach his 300th Major win.

Roland Garros Rafael Nadal Corentin Moutet