Nadal eases past Gasquet
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:46
The third seed showed no signs of his recent fitness problems as he claimed a 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory to set up a meeting with Nicolas Kiefer of Germany.
Both players were returning from spells on the sidelines. Nadal has been out of action with knee troubles, while Gasquet recently served a two-and-a-half month ban after testing positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.
Marat Safin has announced he will retire at the end of this season but his final US Open outing came to an end at the first hurdle as he lost 1-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 to Austria’s Jurgen Melzer at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Elsewhere, Frenchman Gael Monfils, the 13th seed, looked in fine fettle as he dispatched unseeded compatriot Jeremy Chardy in straight sets, 6-1 6-4 6-3.
Monfils is still finding his best form after returning from a wrist injury which forced him to miss Wimbledon, but looked back to his best as he broke the Chardy serve six times in the one-sided encounter, which was wrapped up in just 95 minutes.
“I think like my best thing about today was I tried to play inside the court, tried to be more aggressive, and not going too far off my baseline, so this was good,” said Monfils.
Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero is also through after the 24th seed ousted Frenchman Fabrice Santoro 6-4 6-3 6-3, while Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer was also a winner in straight sets, sending Michael Llodra of France crashing out, 6-3 6-4 6-4.
Another German, Andreas Beck, also moved into the next round but was pushed all the way by Russia’s Evgeny Korolev.
Beck appeared to be cruising into round two after taking the first two sets, but a fightback from Korolev got the pair back on level terms before Beck hit back to post a 6-3 6-4 2-6 2-6 6-4 triumph in three hours and eight minutes.