French Open 2022: Nadal sails through with 300th major win; Alcaraz edges past Ramos-Vinolas

Rafa Nadal produced an imperious show on Wednesday to secure his 300th Grand Slam match victory, dismantling local hope Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-1 6-4 to book his spot in the French Open third round.

Nadal will next meet Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp.   -  AP

Rafa Nadal produced an imperious show on Wednesday to secure his 300th Grand Slam match victory, dismantling local hope Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-1 6-4 to book his spot in the French Open third round.

Nadal counts 13 Roland Garros titles among his overall 21 majors -- the highest among men -- and despite his injury-blighted buildup to the claycourt tournament he has looked at his usual best in the first two rounds.

The Spaniard, whose preparations were hampered by a rib injury and a foot problem, was not keen to talk about his physical condition.

READ | French Open 2022: Djokovic beats Molcan; Zverev saves match point en route to third round

"I can't try to go very deep in a tournament if I'm worried about my physical issues every single day," he told reporters.

"So if something happens, I am gonna accept it. But for the moment I am focused on the tennis."

The Spaniard, who turns 36 next week, will next meet Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp with a potential quarter-final looming against world number one Novak Djokovic who defeated him in last year's semi-finals.

Playing under the lights at Court Philippe Chatrier, Nadal peppered the red clay with winners from both his forehand and backhand in the first two sets to leave Moutet stranded.

In his first career meeting with the 23-year-old French wildcard, Nadal broke Moutet's serve four times in the first two sets but uncharacteristic errors at the start of the third allowed his opponent to take a 2-0 lead.

Nadal immediately broke back, however, to get the set back on serve and after another exchange of breaks, the Spaniard broke Moutet again to seal victory on his first match point.

"Preparation hasn't been perfect so I didn't expect a perfect start to the tournament," Nadal said.

"But it has been going quite well. I am positive about the things that I did out there tonight. Of course, there is room to improve and I need to improve if I want to keep having chances to go deeper."

Carlos Alcaraz saves match point to remain in French Open

Sixth seed Carlos Alcaraz clawed back from the brink of a shock second-round defeat at the French Open on Wednesday to outlast fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a five-set marathon that fully tested his title credentials.

The 19-year-old, who has taken the tennis world by storm this year, survived a match point in the fourth set and battled back from 3-0 down in the fifth before winning 6-1 6-7(7) 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4 in a match lasting over four hour and a half hours.

Alcaraz is now unbeaten for 12 straight matches after bagging back-to-back titles in Barcelona and Madrid going into Roland Garros and will next face American Sebastian Korda.

"I am still young but I am an experienced player now," Alcaraz told a news conference.

"I want to play big battles and top battles against the best players in the world," he said. "Being number one is my dream since I stated playing tennis."

Alcaraz had looked unflustered by the blustery conditions on the Simonne Mathieu Court with a near flawless performance in the first set.

READ | French Open 2022: Ramkumar seals maiden Grand Slam main draw win

The 34-year-old Ramos-Vinolas, a clay court specialist and quarter-finalist in Paris six years ago, had no response to Alcaraz's explosive power and accuracy.

The teenager's serve proved equally devastating as he gave away just three points in his service games in the first set.

His veteran opponent, however, was far from done, putting up a stronger fight as unforced errors started creeping into Alcaraz's game, including a forehand that sailed wide on Ramos-Vinolas's set point.

With his opponent now clearly unsettled, having lost his earlier momentum, Ramos-Vinolas moved Alcaraz around and broke him to go 2-1 up in the third set.

Alcaraz was paying the price for his unforced errors and his 44th, a simple volley into the net, handed Ramos-Vinolas a break to go 6-5 up and he held serve to lead 2-1.

Facing the prospect of a shock exit, Alcaraz survived a match point at 5-4 before forcing a fifth set.

He again had to work his way back from 0-3 to level before finishing Ramos-Vinolas off with an ace on his first match point.

"I knew that I would have my chance in the end of fourth set. I believed in myself the whole time. In the fourth and fifth set I was smiling with my team."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :