Tennis: Nadal Primed to Take Another Step Towards Record Title
Paris. Rafael Nadal, chasing a record seventh French Open title, will be looking to preserve his perfect record against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin when the two meet in the second round at Roland Garros on Thursday.
Nadal, who has lost only once on the Paris clay since his debut in 2005, will eclipse the record of six titles he shares with Bjorn Borg if he triumphs again this year but the second-seeded Spaniard is adamant he is not obsessed with the landmark.
“We are in the second round. That’s the thing. I have enough work to do thinking about the next round, and not think about if Bjorn will be here or if I’m gonna play the final,” Nadal, who is scheduled second on Court Suzanne Lenglen, told reporters.
Nadal has beaten Istomin in both of their previous meetings.
Russian second seed Maria Sharapova continues her quest for a maiden title at the French Open, the only grand slam missing from her collection, against Japanese Ayumi Morita on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Briton Andy Murray, seeded fourth, will open proceedings on center court against the experienced Finn Jarkko Nieminen.
Also in action is Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, with the fourth seed starting the day on Court Suzanne Lenglen against Pole Urszula Radwanska.
Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano, who knocked out pre-tournament favourite Serena Williams in the first round, will be on Court One against unheralded Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.
Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France will be on Court Suzanne Lenglen to finish his match against German Cedric Marcel Stebe after it held over due to rain. The duo will resume the third set at 1-1 having split the first two sets.