French Open 2014: Rafael Nadal storms into third round in Paris

Dominic Thiem was dismissed 6-2 6-2 6-3

Rafael Nadal handed Dominic Thiem a clay-court lesson to move into the third round of the French Open.

Thiem, 20, is one of tennis' brightest young talents but Nadal was close to his ruthless best in a 6-2 6-2 6-3 victory.

A mixture of the eight-time champion's spring wobbles and Thiem's rise made this an intriguing clash, and the young Austrian produced several of the flashy winners that are his trademark to force a break point in the opening game.

He strikes the ball extremely well off both wings, particularly his one-handed backhand, and produced one of the performances of the season so far to defeat Stan Wawrinka in Madrid earlier this month.

That made him the youngest man to beat a top-three player since Juan Martin del Potro in 2009 and many people believe he could go on to become a grand slam champion like the Argentinian.

But this was a rather chastening experience, albeit punctuated by moments of brilliance.

The problem for Thiem, as many before him have discovered, is the sheer number of superb shots needed to break through Nadal's legendary defences.

The clouds close in as Rafael Nadal of Spain secures victory in his men's singles match against Dominic Thiem of Austria The clouds close in as Rafael Nadal of Spain secures victory in his men's singles match against Dominic Thiem of Austria  

Having saved the first break point, Nadal then moved into a 3-0 lead and, of the first six games, Thiem won only one.

He gave himself hope by saving a set point and breaking the Nadal serve for the first time, but the world number one hit straight back to take the set when Thiem double-faulted.

Nadal certainly looked in fine fettle and he moved ahead early in the second set.

Thiem let out an anguished cry when he missed a backhand at 2-4, the strain beginning to show, and Nadal clinched the set with a brilliant running forehand winner.

Thiem's best moments came early in the third set when he broke the Nadal serve and moved 3-1 ahead, much to the delight of the crowd, who were right behind the youngster.

But his error count continued to nudge away from his tally of winners and Nadal won five games in a row to seal the win.

Fourth seed David Ferrer, who lost his first grand slam final to Nadal 12 months ago, eased into the third round with a 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory over Italy's Simone Bolelli.

In the next round there will be a clash of the giants between 6ft 11in Ivo Karlovic and 6ft 8in Kevin Anderson, who both came through in straight sets on Thursday.

Karlovic is playing the best clay-court tennis of his life aged 35 and followed up his upset of Grigor Dimitrov by defeating Andreas Haider-Maurer.

There was also an impressive win for American Donald Young, who had never won a match at Roland Garros before this year but knocked out 26th seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3 7-6 (7/1) 6-3.

PA

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk