Twin bill: Nadal, Djokovic both advance 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 at French Open

Novak Djokovic steamrolled Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday afternoon.

Not to be outdone by his rival’s performance on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Nadal prevailed almost immediately thereafter by the exact same scoreline against Robin Haase.

As a result, the tournament’s top two favorites remain on a collision course for the semifinals at Roland Garros. Djokovic had no trouble advancing in two hours and seven minutes, while Nadal got the job done in just one hour and 49 minutes. The fourth-ranked Spaniard did not face a single break point throughout his entire victory over Haase. He also served at 70 percent, won 76 percent of his first-serve points, and won an amazing 85 percent of his second-serve points.

“I think I played a good match; I think I played a solid match,” Nadal noted. “(I was) hitting very well the ball with the forehand. I think my serve worked better than [in the first round]. I was more or less under control during the whole match, so very happy. Winning in straight always great news.

“Robin is a dangerous opponent always. He can serve very well–hit very strong. I think I did a lot of things well this afternoon.”

Djokovic also enjoyed a clear improvement from his first-round performance. The defending champion won the first five games of the contest and never looked back.

“(I was most pleased with) I think the beginning of the match and the way I started,” Djokovic said. “Great first set; pretty much [did] everything I wanted. Midway (through the) second set until maybe midway (through the) third set, that’s where I allowed him to believe more that he [could] get back into the match, and he started playing better. I felt like maybe I took off the foot from the gas a little bit.

“(Sousa) likes to play on clay. Once he has time, he can be dangerous. So I tried to take away that time from him…. The way I ended the match and last couple of games was positive. The way I started, as well. Generally I felt better than the first round, so that’s exactly what I wanted.”

Up next for the second-ranked Serb is Diego Schwartzman, while Nadal will battle Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the last 16.

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