Rafa, the King of Clay

Rafael Nadal dominated the clay-court and fired a warning at his rivals to improve his bid for “La Decima” on Friday, June 2, at Roland Garros. The nine-time Roland Garros Champion stunned Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvii with a flawless performance in his 100th best-of-five sets in a clay court match.

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(Photo credits: http://tenis.as.com)

The Spanish legend outsmarted the Georgian native with a 6-0, 6-1,6-0 win, to nab a place in the fourth round of the tournament. Basilashvili had a hard time penetrating the defense and attack thrown to him.  Evidently shown on the scoreboard, the Georgian player really needs to work hard to play a good match against Nadal.

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With Nadal’s strong rhythm and condition, Basilashvili had a hard time returning high balls. He was caught off guard and wasn’t able to escape from the intensified attacks thrown at him. Strategically, Nadal took advantage of the rattled opponent who wasn’t able to regroup after he scored straight points giving the rival with only 1 point throughout the match.

The fourth-seeded superstar is set to face fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut tomorrow. Agut, who currently ranks eighteenth, also emerged as a victor yesterday against Jiri Vesely. His returns were good and it resulted in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win against the Czech player in over a two-hour game.

Nadal is playing his best on the clay court and his current standing, 75-2 at Roland Garros, proves that he is the King of the Clay. Also, he is five match wins away from 850 career victories (845-180 mark).

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Johnson Jr.’s Emotions Fuel Run

Last May 11, Steve Johnson Sr. died at the age of 58. Weeks after the tragic event, Steve Johnson Jr. still able to complete a dramatic 6-2, 7-6(8), 3-6, 7-6(6) second-round victory over Borna Coric in the resumption of the French Open on Wednesday, May 31.

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(Photo credits: The Washington Post)

Johnson broke down in tears as he talked of how his late father’s memory had driven him to an emotional win over the Croatian tennis player. He could not hold back his tears during the emotional post-match interview recalling how his late father’s spirit helped push him to victory.

Johnson’s path to the third round is considered unfaithful under normal circumstances. But he succeeded on Monday in a five-set win over Yuichi Sugita that spanned two days. The American won the first two sets on Sunday, but gloomy weather stopped the game halfway through the fourth set. He recovered immediately after Sugita forced a decider set the next day and powered through the final set.

Johnson will match up against the seventh seed Dominic Thiem on his next fight. The Australian Tennis Player notched 1 step higher from being rank eight last time. They are going to match up today at 6:30 PM ET at Stade Roland Garros, France.

Will his emotions continue to fuel him up to win this fight?

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