Merciless Nadal thrashes qualifier to advance

Reuters

Posted at May 28 2011 09:18 PM | Updated as of May 29 2011 05:18 AM

PARIS – Five-times champion Rafa Nadal was his old merciless self as he silenced Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic 6-1 6-3 6-0 to book his place in the fourth round of the French Open Saturday.

The Spanish number one allowed only seven points to his opponent in the opening set despite struggling on his first serve.

Nadal, who now has a 41-1 record at Roland Garros although he labored through his first two matches this year, ran into a spot of bother in the second set, conceding a couple of breaks.

However, a series of bludgeoning forehands floored world number 227 Veic, who beat twice French Open semi-finalist Nikolay Davydenko in the previous round, in a 25-minute second set.

Nadal will now meet either Croatian Ivan Ljubicic or Spanish 16th seed Fernando Verdasco for a place in the last eight.