Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal continued straight-sets runs at the French Open, each sweeping Germans who played in qualifying last week in the second round on Wednesday.
Federer, playing Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, beat lucky loser Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. The 20-time major winner gets Norwegian Casper Ruud next. Ruud’s father, Christian, played in the 1999 French Open, the first major of Federer’s career.
“I know probably more about his dad than about him,” Federer said (Ruud said separately that his father once practiced with Federer but never played against him). “I must say I feel really good, you know, considering I haven’t played here in that long.”
Nadal, eyeing a 12th French Open title, beat a German qualifier named Yannick for the second straight round, taking out Yannick Maden 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Nadal plays No. 27 David Goffin in the third round.
“Easy is never, but I can say have been a comfortable victory,” Nadal said. “I have been in control most all the time.”
Federer and Nadal are each three wins from facing each other in the semifinals. The path is obviously tougher for Federer, who could face No. 17 Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round and No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.
Federer and Nadal last met at the October 2017 Shanghai Masters, with Federer winning for the fifth straight time in the rivalry to move to 15-23 against Nadal. Nadal has won all five of their French Open matchups, including finals in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011, the last meeting.
Also Wednesday, two rising female stars withdrew from second-round matches.
No. 4 Kiki Bertens, who beat four major champions en route to winning the Madrid Open without dropping a set two weeks ago, withdrew after telling a trainer she was shaking and had no energy to continue. Bertens, who had a chance to leave Paris with the No. 1 ranking, was down 3-1 to Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova.
“I woke up at three, and then I felt really sick,” Bertens said. “Vomiting, diarrhea all night long, all day long. I felt a little bit better before the match. I had some sleep, and I just wanted to give it a try, but then as soon as I start warming up right before the match, it started again. … Yeah, there was not any energy left.”
No. 22 Bianca Andreescu of Canada withdrew before Thursday’s second-round match with American Sofia Kenin, citing a right shoulder injury that’s plagued her since she won the Indian Wells title in March.
Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are the headliners in action Thursday.
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