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By Chris Oddo | Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nadal Day 7 2014 French Open

Rafael Nadal posted a comfortable 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 win over Leonardo Mayer to reach the round of 16 at Roland Garros for the tenth straight year.

Photo Source: Clive Brunskill/ Getty

Rafael Nadal is kicking his game into overdrive just in time for the second week of the 2014 French Open. The Spaniard defeated Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer on a perfectly sunny Saturday in Paris, 6-2, 7-5, 6-2, to reach the round of 16 at Roland Garros for the tenth consecutive year.

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The eight-time champion was off and running quickly in the opener, breaking Mayer in games three and five to take a commanding double-break lead before serving out the set in 30 minutes.

In the second Mayer would find his footing and push Nadal after originally falling behind a break. The world No. 65 ramped up his intensity, and managed to hit a few one-handed backhands that put the Spaniard on his heels. He would eventually break to draw even at four-all and stay level with Nadal for a few more games.

But in the 11th game, Nadal lofted a perfectly executed backhand topspin lob from a defensive position that sailed over Mayer’s head for a break and a 6-5 lead.

After that deflating moment, Nadal stepped on the accelerator, holding to love to seal the second set.

Nadal, who joins Roger Federer as one of only four players to have reached the French Open’s round of 16 in ten consecutive years, would reel off the final four games of the match after trading breaks with Mayer in the opening games of the final set.

The Spaniard finished with 29 winners on the afternoon, against only 10 unforced errors. The world No. 1 hit on seven of ten break point opportunities, and won 11 of 12 points at the net, finishing the festivities in two hours and 17 minutes.

Nadal improves his Roland Garros to a mind-boggling 62-1 with the victory, and he improve his tour-leading win total for 2014 to 37.

Nadal will face surprising Serb Dusan Lajovic in the fourth round on Monday. The 23-year-old world No. 83 took down American Jack Sock in straight sets earlier on Saturday in Paris.


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