ATP Paris: Rafael Nadal overpowers Adrian Mannarino to pass Roger Federer

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ATP Paris: Rafael Nadal overpowers Adrian Mannarino to pass Roger Federer

Competing in Paris for the first time since 2017, world no. 2 Rafael Nadal toppled Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 50 minutes to reach the third round and grab ther 49th victory of the season. The Spaniard is hoping to win as many points as possible at the event he never conquered, battlin with Novak Djokovic for the year-end no.

1 spot in Paris and London in two weeks time. Playing against each other for the first time since Bejing 2016, Nadal lost just 14 points in 11 service games against the fellow left-hander, never facing a break point and converting two out of seven opportunities on the return, one in each set to move into the next round and deliver the record-breaking 382nd Masters 1000 victory.

The Spaniard had 24 winners and 11 unforced errors, taming his shots nicely and prevailing against the opponent who also played well, landing 26 winners but also 21 unforced errors, ten more than the better-ranked rival.

Rafa had a clear advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, keeping his focus from start to finish and managing to grab those breaks in the closing stages of both sets and earn the clash against Stan Wawrinka on Thursday.

The Frenchman saved a break point at 3-4 with an ace, fending off a set point at 4-5 with another unreturned serve before Nadal finally found the way to close the set in the 12th game when Adrian netted a backhand, moving 7-5 up after 57 minutes and gathering momentum ahead of set number two.

Delivering one good hold after another in set number two as well, the Spaniard mounted the pressure on his rival and secured the triumph with a break at 5-4 thanks to a forehand error from Mannarino.