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Tennis: Back hurts but Nadal stays on course in Paris

Published on Jun 1, 2014 6:18 AM
 
Spain's Rafael Nadal hits a return to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their French tennis Open third round match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on May 31, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Rafael Nadal shrugged off another bout of back pain to charge into the last 16 of the French Open on Saturday with an imposing 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 win over Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.

Seeking to become the first man to win five straight titles in Paris and the first to win nine times at the same Grand Slam, Nadal has lost just 19 games in getting to the last 16.

At the same stage last year en route to his eighth French Open title, Nadal had dropped two sets and lost 48 games.

Mayer, ranked 65th in the world, had little to offer as Nadal led from the start and was able to play well within his limits and still race away with the match.

 
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