PARIS - Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, last year's runner-up David Ferrer and British star Andy Murray were easy second-round winners Thursday at the French Open.
The world No. 1 Nadal whipped young rising Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 on Court Chatrier. The 20-year-old Thiem is the youngest player in the men's top 100.
"His ball is so high he was able to hit strong; he has completely everything to become a champion," Nadal said of Thiem.
"I think today I played a solid match, I knew that if I didn't I would be in trouble."
Nadal improved to 61-1 lifetime at Roland Garros, where he beat Ferrer in last year's all-Spanish final for a fourth straight title in the French capital.
The 27-year-old Nadal is trying to become the first man to win five straight French Open championships. He's captured 44 clay-court titles, placing him second in the Open Era behind only Argentine great Guillermo Vilas (46).
The reigning French and U.S. Open titlist's third-round opponent will be Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
Meanwhile, a fifth-seeded Ferrer won for the eighth time in nine matches at the French with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 spanking of Italian Simone Bolelli and the seventh-seeded reigning Wimbledon champion Murray blew past Aussie Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. Ferrer improved to 13-0 all-time against qualifiers at Grand Slams and reached the third round at Roland Garros for the 10th straight year.
Ferrer's third-round opponent will be Italian Andreas Seppi.
"I am ready for the next round and was very happy with my performance, especially with my consistency," Ferrer said.
Twelfth-seeded French favorite Richard Gasquet moved on with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4 decision against Argentine Carlos Berlocq.
No. 19 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa advanced by beating French wild card Axel Michon 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, while 26th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain lost 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 to American fellow left-hander Donald Young, 28th-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber erased Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, and a 32nd-seeded Seppi dismissed Argentine Juan Monaco 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
"I have actually never won a match outside of the U.S. on red clay," Young said. "So to win two here at the French Open, it means a lot."
A rare all-American French Open matchup saw Jack Sock pounce all over two-time NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.
Also on Day 5, the aforementioned Mayer doused Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez topped Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0; Serb Dusan Lajovic drubbed Estonian Jurgen Zopp 6-2, 6-4, 6-4; and 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic doused Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Karlovic was a clay court runner-up in Germany last week.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun