ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal downs Cameron Norrie to advance into last 16

The 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal will compete in the last 16 in Paris for the 16th time in 17 appearances following a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Cameron Norrie in two hours and seven minutes. It was Nadal’s 289th Major victory and 103rd at Roland Garros from 105 encounters, sailing into the next round where he faces Jannik Sinner. Rafa got broken twice in a row in the second set and erased that deficit quickly, taking almost half of the return points and securing six breaks from 12 opportunities to control the pace and set Jannik Sinner clash. The Spaniard had the advantage in the shortest and most extended exchanges, firing over 30 winners and standing as the determined player on the court. Nadal made a determined start, hitting 13 winners and 11 unforced errors in the opener and dropping four points behind the initial shot. Cameron gave his best to stay in touch and produced three commanding holds.

Still, Nadal broke him once to take the set 6-3. From 30-0 down in the first game, Rafa grabbed four straight points and closed the game with a forehand winner to get his name on the scoreboard. The Spaniard fired another forehand down the line winner in the third game to remain in front before the Briton locked the result at 2-2 after deuce in the next one. Nadal held at love in game five and broke his opponent when Norrie netted an easy forehand to fall 4-2 behind. The 13-time winner placed a forehand winner in the seventh game to confirm the advantage and held at love at 5-3 with a service winner to secure the opener after 36 minutes.

Rafael Nadal defeated Cameron Norrie in straight sets in Paris.

Norrie grabbed two breaks in the second set, but it wasn’t enough for a positive result, as Nadal stole 62% of the return points and delivered four breaks that sent him further in front. The Briton secured a break in game two after forcing Nadal’s forehand error before Rafa pulled it back with a forehand winner to reduce the deficit to 1-2.

Returning well in those moments, Norrie earned another break in game four with a backhand down the line winner but stayed in front only for a couple of minutes, with Nadal breaking back to stay in contention. Gathering momentum, Rafa produced holds at 15 in games six and eight and stole his opponent’s serve at 3-3 to move in front. Returning at 5-3, Rafa placed a perfect backhand crosscourt winner to secure a break and a set after 80 minutes, hoping for more of the same in set number three. The Spaniard held at love at 1-1 in the third set and landed an incredible forehand crosscourt winner in the next one to open a 3-1 gap. Norrie saved a break point in game six and a match point in the eighth game before Nadal sealed the deal on his serve at 5-3 with a forehand winner.