Nadal powers into last 16 at French Open
Paris: Top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal coasted into the last 16 of the French Open on Saturday with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 win over Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic in a centre-court mismatch.
It was the Spaniard`s 41st win at Roland Garros against just the one defeat since he made his debut in 2005, but such was the paucity of the opposition that the win will answer few questions about his actual form.
His next opponent will be either compatriot Fernando Verdasco, against whom he has a 11-0 win-loss record, or Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic, who were in action on Court 1 later on Saturday.
Nadal had admitted he was struggling to find his best form after two uncustomary tough opening rounds against giant American John Isner, who took him to five sets, and Spanish compatriot Pablo Andujar.
But he wasted no time in getting on top of Veic, the world number 227, who made it through the qualifiers and then scored a five sets win over Russia`s Nikolay Davydenko to reach the third round in what was just his second Grand Slam event.
The five-times defending champion smoothly moved 4-0 ahead before Veic got off the mark, but the first set was pocketed by the Spaniard 6-2 in just 26 minutes.
Veic put up some resistance at the start of the second and had a break point, but Nadal erased that with a big crosscourt forehand after a bruising rally.
That was about as good as it got for the Croatian who found himself overpowered by the five-time champion for the remainder of a one-sided contest.