Tennis: Nadal wins 200th Grand Slam match

Rafael Nadal returns the ball during the men's second round match at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris, on May 26, 2016.
Rafael Nadal returns the ball during the men's second round match at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris, on May 26, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on Thursday became just the eighth man to win 200 Grand Slam matches when he defeated Argentina's Facundo Bagnis to reach the last 32 at Roland Garros.

Nadal, 29, dropped the first two games against the world No. 99 but then won 18 of the next 22 to ease through 6-3, 6-0, 6-3.

He next plays either Spanish compatriot Marcel Granollers or Nicolas Mahut of France.

"It was a difficult start but after that I was very solid and happy to win on Court Philippe Chatrier which has been the most important court in my career," said Nadal.

"This has been a better year than last year. I have been playing well this year against some of the best players in the world.

"I wanted to be competitive again at Roland Garros which is very special to me."

Swiss Roger Federer, missing from the French Open this year, tops the all-time list of Grand Slam matches won on 302.