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Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both advance


Defending champion Novak Djokovic and nine-time winner Rafael Nadal both reached the French Open third round with a comfortable wins.

Djokovic looked every bit a champion as he progressed with a 6-1 6-4 6-3 win over Joao Sousa of Portugal on Suzanne-Lenglen Court.

Record nine-time winner of the event Nadal marched through after crushing Dutchman Robin Haase 6-1 6-4 6-3.

The second seed, playing his first tournament with new coach Andre Agassi, made slightly heavy weather of his first-round win over Marcel Granollers and it was the same again for a while at least.

Djokovic raced through the first set and looked in total control but Sousa dug in in the second set and had a chance to lead 4-2 in the third.

But he missed his chance while Djokovic seized his to move through in two hours and seven minutes to a clash with Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

Djokovic will almost certainly have to raise his level if he is to maintain his record of not having dropped a set.

Schwartzman stands just 5ft 7in but his shots pack a real punch and he has troubled many top players during the clay-court season.

Nadal, who is bidding to become the first man to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam event looked in ominous form as he eased past Dutchman Haase and finished the match with a tally of 33 winners and only 13 unforced errors.

Haase did not manage to create a single break point while dropping serve five times with title favourite Nadal moving on the play Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia for a place in the last 16.

British No 3 Aljaz Bedene’s campaign ended in a second-round loss to Jiri Vesely.

The Czech, ranked five places below Bedene at 57, was in control for two sets and then recovered from dropping the third to win 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 with the light fading on Court Three.

Vesely goes on to play Roberto Bautista Agut with fellow Spaniard Nadal a potential fourth-round opponent.

Fifth-seeded Canadian Minos Raoni struck 25 aces as he beat Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 to make it through, while still grieving the recent death of his father, 25th-seeded American Steve Johnson dropped to his knees in tears at the end of his 6-2 7-6 (10-8) 3-6 7-6 (8-6) victory over Borna Coric.

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