Roland Garros Day Three Men's Wrap-up
King of Clay Rafael Nadal was in action today for his first round match against American John Isner.
It looked like it was business as usual for the number one ranked player after he secured the first set 6-4, but Isner held his own, using his huge serve and smart net play to keep himself in the match.
He forced a tiebreak in the second set and dominated with his serve, winning convincingly 7-2. The third set was pretty much a carbon copy of the second, even down to the tiebreak score – 7-2.
With Nadal down two sets to one, he had a look of concern on his face as he struggled to figure out what to do against the towering American. As champions typically do though, he found a way to turn things around in the fourth, breaking Isner early and building his confidence as the set progressed.
He was able to break again and take the set easily 6-2. In the fifth and final set, Nadal went up an early break and looked like he was going to cruise to victory. To his credit, Isner hung in there and pressured Nadal on his serve, but he was unable to capitalize on any of his chances. Nadal took the set 6-4 and the match. One interesting note – it was the first five set match Rafa has ever played at the French – he’s won four setters and his only loss there against Robin Soderling was also in four sets.
Speaking of Robin Soderling, the Swede was in action today against American upstart Ryan Harrison who fought his way through qualifying to enter the main draw. Ryan looked impressive in his first appearance at Roland Garros, even winning the second set in a tiebreaker, but the Swede’s power and experience were too much for him. Soderling won in 4 sets: 6-1 6-7 6-3 7-5.Continued on the next page