Nadal reaches fourth round at French Open

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Antonio Veic of Croatia during the French Open tennis...

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Antonio Veic of Croatia during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, May 28, 2011. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

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, Last Updated: 4:05 AM ET

 

Five-time champion Rafael Nadal and fourth-seeded Andy Murray were easy third-round winners Saturday at the French Open.

The world No. 1 Nadal improved to 41-1 lifetime at Roland Garros with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 pasting on helpless Croat Antonio Veic in 1 hour, 41 minutes on Court Chatrier.

Nadal topped Robin Soderling in last year's Roland Garros finale and captured this major tournament four straight years from 2005-08. The 24-year- old superstar is seeking his sixth title here in seven years. Only Bjorn Borg has won this event six times among the men.

The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion Nadal will face former top-10 fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco or former world No. 3 Croat Ivan Ljubicic in the round of 16.

The 2011 Australian Open runner-up Murray cruised past German Michael Berrer 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in 2 hours, 7 minutes.

Murray, who lost to high-flying Serb Novak Djokovic in January's Aussie Open finale, is a three-time Grand Slam runner-up who has never advanced beyond the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. He's now reached the fourth round here three years running.

Up next for Murray will be the second-best Serb, 15th-seeded Viktor Troicki, who held off 21st-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Day 7. Dolgopolov was a surprise Aussie Open quarterfinalist four months ago.


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