ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal storms over Travaglia to follow Thiem into last 16



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ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal storms over Travaglia to follow Thiem into last 16

World no. 2 Rafael Nadal is through to the last 16 in Paris for the 15th time in 16 appearances. Nadal defeated Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 to remain on the title course, spending an hour and 35 minutes on the court under the closed roof of Court Philippe-Chatrier.

It was Nadal's 96th victory in Paris from 98 matches, playing on a high level from start to finish and never putting a foot wrong. The Spaniard lost 13 points in his games, never facing a break point and finishing the encounter with 28 winners and 13 unforced errors, enough to leave the opponent far behind.

Travaglia lost over half of the points behind the initial shot, getting broken six times from seven chances given to Rafa to end his journey in the third round. Firing from all cylinders, Nadal continued where he left in the previous two rounds, dropping two points behind the initial shot in the opening set to mount the pressure on the other side.

The defending champion hit nine winners and three unforced errors, never facing a break point and converting both on the return for 6-1. Rafa painted a forehand down the line winner to wrap up the opening service game at love, earning a break at love in game two when Travaglia sprayed a forehand error to grab an early advantage.

Producing one good stroke after another, Nadal closed the third game with a service winner, opening a 3-0 lead in nine minutes after taking 12 out of 14 points. Stefano held in game four when Nadal sprayed a backhand error, adding his name to the scoreboard and hoping for some chances on the return.

Instead of that, Rafa fired a forehand down the line winner for a hold at love, punishing every shorter ball from his opponent and looking rock-solid so far. The defending champion broke at love in game six to extend the advantage, placing a forehand winner in the next one for a hold at love and 6-1 in 23 minutes.

Travaglia claimed only two points on the return in the opener, raising the number to nine in set number two but still failing to create a break chance.

Rafael Nadal is through to the last 16 without losing a set.

Nadal had 12 winners and seven unforced errors, delivering one break that carried him towards two sets to love lead.

Stefano held in the first game with a service winner, already repeating what he did in the entire opener and taking two points on the return in game two. The Italian hit another unreturned serve in the third game, with Nadal leveling the score at 2-2 with a booming serve of his own.

Travaglia secured the fifth game at love, looking comfortable behind the initial shot, spoiling all that at 3-3 when Nadal grabbed a break after a sharp return that his rival failed to control. Rafa confirmed the break with two winners at deuce in game eight, firing three winners at 5-4 to wrap up the set and move a set away from triumph after 69 minutes.

Travaglia netted a smash in the first game of the third set to give serve away before Nadal landed an ace down the T line to extend the lead and move closer to the finish line. Rafa delivered another break in game three with a forehand winner at the net, holding at love with a service winner to forge a 4-0 gap.

The Spaniard painted a forehand down the line winner in the fifth game to steal the rival's serve, sealing the deal a few minutes later to deliver a bagel and advance into the last 16.