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Nadal Overwhelms Istomin In Paris; Fognini Saves 2 M.P. Versus Troicki

Paris, France

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal's only loss at Roland Garros came at the hands of Robin Soderling in 2009.

Second seed Rafael Nadal overwhelmed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 in their second-round clash at Roland Garros on Thursday. The 25-year-old Spaniard is now 47-1 at the clay-court major in Paris, where he is chasing a record* seventh title.

Nadal broke twice to clinch the 36-minute first set, before being forced to save two break points in the second set. He won 25 of 29 total points in the 26-minute third set, hit 25 total winners past Istomin and lost 16 of his service points - winning 76 per cent of his first service points.

"I think I played a really solid match," said Nadal. "[The] first set I think was [a] good level. [The] second one was good at the end, but in the middle of the set I had some problems with my serve - two break points in two games in a row. The third set was great, [in] my opinion. [I'm] very happy about the way that I played the third [set].

"I can improve things. The serve is the first one. I think I improved the level of my serve during the match, but I started the match serving badly. For the rest, more or less, I have to be happy."

Istomin told reporters, "He's running very fast and moving on the court. He trys to hit every ball, so makes a lot of winners, [and is] good serving. He does everything on clay. Like everybody says, 'king of clay'. I have never played him on clay [before], and for me [it] was [a] good experience. In the beginning [it] was a good match for me. Not many mistakes. I think he's in good shape. He's won a lot of tournaments already on clay. For me, [he is] the favourite to win the Roland Garros again."

Read 'Nadal: Remember Paris' In All-New DEUCE!

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Nicolas Almagro, the No. 12 seed, joined his fellow Spaniard in the third round by beating Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 37 minutes. It was the 197th win of his career on clay courts (197-94), where he has won all 12 of his ATP World Tour titles - most recently at the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur (d. Baker) last week. Baghdatis committed 38 unforced errors, four more than Almagro.

Russian No. 27 seed Mikhail Youzhny hit 53 winners past Robin Haase of the Netherlands for a 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4 victory in two hours and 25 minutes. Youzhny will next challenge sixth seed and two-time former quarter-finalist David Ferrer of Spain.

Italian Fabio Fognini saved two match points to beat No. 28 seed Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 8-6 in three hours and 30 minutes, in a match that started on Wednesday but was carried over due to rain. Fognini saved match points at 5-6, 30/40 and at advantage.

Read 'Understanding Fognini' In DEUCE

* Frenchman Max Decugis won eight Roland Garros titles in 1903-04, '07-09, '12-14. But the French championships did not invite international players to compete at the tournament until 1925.

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