PARIS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal continued his charge towards a 13th French Open title by crushing unseeded American Mackenzie McDonald 6-1 6-0 6-3 at Roland Garros on Wednesday to reach the third round.
The Spanish second seed also stayed on course to equal his old rival Roger Federer’s record of 20 men’s singles Grand Slam titles.
Serena Williams’ quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title ended after an Achilles tendon injury forced the American to withdraw from the tournament.
The 39-year-old was due to play Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round but pulled out following a warm-up session that left her struggling to walk.
World number three Dominic Thiem saved three set points to beat American Jack Sock 6-1 6-3 7-6(6) while women’s third seed Elina Svitolina also overcame a wobble to down Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua 6-3 0-6 6-2.
Alexander Zverev came through a tough five-setter to knock out Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 2-6 6-4 7-6(5) 4-6 6-4 and Swiss Stan Wawrinka beat Dominik Koepfer 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1.
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka’s campaign ended with a tame 6-2 6-2 defeat by Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Fifth seed Kiki Bertens survived a match point and cramps against Sara Errani before winning 7-6(5) 3-6 9-7 and leaving the court on a wheelchair.
Italian Martina Trevisan downed 16-year-old American Coco Gauff 4-6 6-2 7-5 in a late match.
Ruthless Nadal stays on course for 13th French Open title
Thiem survives late wobble to ease past American Sock
Jack Sock v Dominic Thiem - match stats
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Zverev battles past Frenchman Herbert in five sets
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French Open order of play on Thursday
Highlights of the fourth day at the French Open, the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, on Wednesday (all times GMT):
1834 ZVEREV BATTLES PAST HERBERT
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev was taken to five sets by Pierre-Hugues Herbert before he beat the Frenchman 2-6 6-4 7-6(5) 4-6 6-4.
On another disappointing day for local players, Benoit Paire also crashed out after losing 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3 6-1 to Argentine Federico Coria.
1631 HALEP TOO GOOD FOR FELLOW ROMANIAN BEGU
Simona Halep beat Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-4 to improve her overall record against her Romanian compatriot to 8-0. Top seed Halep, the 2018 champion, is chasing her third major title.
1542 MERTENS ROLLS INTO THIRD ROUND
Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens beat Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 6-4 7-5. Earlier, Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands battled past Sara Errani 7-6(5) 3-6 9-7 before leaving the court in a wheelchair after struggling physically in the final set.
1446 THIEM GETS PAST QUALIFIER SOCK
Dominic Thiem, the runner-up in 2018 and 2019, staved off a late comeback attempt by American qualifier Jack Sock in their first meeting on clay to win 6-1 6-3 7-6(6). The U.S. Open winner will meet Casper Ruud in the next round.
1410 NADAL CRUISES INTO THIRD ROUND
Rafa Nadal continued his bid for a 20th major to equal Roger Federer’s all-time record by swatting aside unseeded American Mackenzie McDonald 6-1 6-0 6-3.
Another crown in Paris will make the Spaniard the first player in the Open era to win 13 singles titles at any Tour-level event.
1225 WAWRINKA SEES OFF KOEPFER, ISNER CRASHES
Swiss 16th seed Stan Wawrinka suffered a mid-match blip before dismissing German Dominik Koepfer 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1.
John Isner, who had lost his previous two matches against fellow Americans at the majors, was beaten by compatriot Sebastian Korda 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4.
1137 TENTH SEED AZARENKA DUMPED OUT BY SCHMIEDLOVA
Unseeded Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, ranked 161 in the world, eased past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-2 in their first meeting to book her spot in the third round.
1048 SVITOLINA SURVIVES ZARAZUA SCARE
Third seed Elina Svitolina, who lifted the Strasbourg title on Saturday, was handed a bagel in the second set of her match against Mexico’s Renata Zarazua but regained focus to claim a 6-3 0-6 6-2 win and reach the third round.
1016 SERENA WILLIAMS WITHDRAWS FROM FRENCH OPEN
Serena Williams’s French Open campaign ended after she withdrew from her second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova due to an Achilles injury.
“I really wanted to give an effort here. I’m struggling to walk so that’s a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover,” she told reporters. (Reporting by Arvind Sriram and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ed Osmond)
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