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Nadal shakes off Goffin comeback to reach French Open fourth round

Rafael Nadal bounced back after an excellent third set from Belgian 27th seed Goffin to win 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and take his incredible Roland Garros win-loss record to 89-2.

tennis Updated: May 31, 2019 23:28 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Paris
Rafael Nadal,David Goffin,French Open
Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during his third round match against Belgium's David Goffin.(REUTERS)

Reigning champion Rafael Nadal survived a blip to continue his bid for a record-extending 12th French Open title on Friday with a four-set third-round win over David Goffin, ten years to the day since his shock 2009 exit to Robin Soderling.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner bounced back after an excellent third set from Belgian 27th seed Goffin to win 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and take his incredible Roland Garros win-loss record to 89-2 -- those two defeats coming against Soderling in the last 16 a decade ago and against Novak Djokovic in 2015.

Nadal maintained his record of never having lost in the first week in Paris, although he withdrew injured before the third round in 2016.

He powered 38 winners past Goffin on Court Philippe Chatrier to set up a last-16 clash with either Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero or home hope Corentin Moutet.

“David is a very good player. I started the match at a good level,” said Nadal. “After, in the third set, he played very well. I’m very happy to reach the last 16.”

Goffin looked totally outclassed in the first two sets, but claimed his first-ever set against Nadal on clay, and the first the Spaniard had dropped at Roland Garros since last year’s quarter-final win against Diego Schwartzman.

But Nadal refocused and clinched victory in the fourth set when Goffin fired a backhand wide after a single break of serve in game four.

jc/dj

First Published: May 31, 2019 23:23 IST