Nadal crushes Kuznetsov to reach last 16 in style

Sat May 30, 2015 12:13pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal's attempt to win the French Open for a 10th time picked up pace with a 6-1 6-3 6-2 third round demolition of unseeded Russian Andrey Kuznetsov at Roland Garros on Saturday.

The Spanish defending champion, seeded a lowly sixth this year after a run of patchy form, showed the quality that has made him the dominant force on clay for a decade, brushing aside his opponent with relative ease.

He moves into the second week with an unblemished record and seems to be finding his best form in time for a likely quarter-final blockbuster with world number one Novak Djokovic -- the man he has beaten in two of the last three finals.

Before that can become a reality he will have to beat American Jack Sock in the last 16.

"Things are going better," Nadal said on court. "Against (Nicolas) Almagro (in the last round) I played a good match and again today I played well and had positive feelings.

"Fourth round is very good news for me."

Apart from a dropped service game the first set was perfect for Nadal as he overpowered the lightweight Russian.

Kuznetsov did not hold serve until he was 3-0 down in the second set and although he began to make more of a match of it he was outclassed as Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 69-1.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Justin Palmer)

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after beating Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia during their men's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, May 30, 2015.         REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes