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French Open men

Ruthless Nadal storms past Haase

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Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his tennis match against Netherlands' Robin Haase at Roland Garros

Image credit: Getty Images

ByReuters
31/05/2017 at 14:29 | Updated 31/05/2017 at 21:17

Rafael Nadal eased into the third round of the French Open on Wednesday by defeating Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 with a brutal showing.

"I think I played a good match," the Spaniard offered, almost as a question, when asked about his form in thrashing Haase.

There would be few in the Roland Garros crowds on Wednesday who would disagree with that analysis - least of all Dutchman Haase, who appeared shell-shocked at the end.

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"I think I did a lot of things well this afternoon," Nadal added, with almost comedic understatement.

Nadal was irresistible. Pummelling the ball with such force that it appeared distorted into an oval shape at times, he was able to toy with his opponent until ready to finish him off.

The hour spent drilling forehand after forehand on the main showcourt in the morning before fans were admitted had been time well spent.

"I felt I had things pretty much under control, that I could change the direction the ball went in," the fourth seed said.

"I didn't really think about it too hard, because when you think about it too hard, you can't act anymore.

"So I tried not to think about it too much, and it went well."

Rafael Nadal

Image credit: Getty Images

Certainly Nadal seemed to be enjoying himself in warm Parisian sunshine, the conditions suiting his game and giving his groundstrokes a little extra zip.

"It's true that if sun there, between 18 and 25 degrees, normally is good for me, because the ball flies and we have good bounces on my forehand, especially," the 30-year-old said.

Nadal, who next plays Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, deflected any talk about his uncle, Toni, stepping down as his coach.

Nadal's old friend and former Roland Garros winner Carlos Moya, and former tennis pro Francisco Roig, will take on the full-time duties of coaching the player, while Toni takes a back seat.

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TennisFrench Open menRafael NadalRobin Haase
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