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Nadal, Djokovic Through at Roland Garros
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Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal was never troubled in the second round of the French Open as he claimed his second consecutive straight-set win over Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla on Thursday.

No. 14 seed Lleyton Hewitt had a much tougher battle as he clawed back from two sets down to defeat 2004 Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio of Argentina 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

"He must be one of the toughest second-round players to play. Plus at the moment you just don't know really what you're going to get from him," said the former world number one.

Hewitt, who reached the semifinals of Masters Series event in Hamburg and nearly knocked off Nadal, will be facing the 20th seed Jarkko Nieminen from Finland.

Nadal, whose record 81-match winning streak on clay was just ended by Roger Federer at the Hamburg Masters final, will next meet countryman Albert Montanes.

"He was a bit nervous and he made mistakes. It was not a match where I can be able to play my best tennis, but what is very positive today was warming up," said Nadal, who wrapped up the 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory with a forehand winner.

"As days go on, you feel more nervous, but everything was fine."

Novak Djokovic, who remained fully fired-up into this season, looked on course for a third round place when he was a set up and notched up an early break in the second, but only to find an unexpected charge from French qualifier Laurent Recouderc, who fought with a five-game streak to capture that second set. The 6th-seeded Serb then overcame the hiccup to close the match and moved into the next round.

"I was skeptical in the start, because I didn't know anything about him, and the first set was going pretty well, but in the second I just suddenly stopped and made a couple of mistakes and I let him into the match," Djokovic said.

"In the third set I was very nervous but I'm happy I managed to calm down and just figure out what to do and try to be positive.

"I managed to win in the end, and that's the most important thing," added Djokovic, who lost to eventual champion Nadal in last year's quarterfinals.

Djokovic, who is playing his first Grand Slam event as one of the world's top 10, converted on one of his two break chances in the third set and on three more in the fourth set en route to the 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over the Frenchman.

"Everybody expects me to be one of the guys who can actually hurt the best two players in the world, and I'm aware of that, there's a lot of expectations and lot of pressure, but I am trying not to think about it too much," the Serb continued.

"I'm not so happy with my first two performances here but I cannot just look at the negative things. The positive thing is that I won two matches. I'll do my best to start playing better."

Marcos Baghdatis, the 16th seed, also had trouble at some moment but took his match in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 over Denmark's Kristian Pless.

Having already reached the final of the Australian Open and the semifinals of Wimbledon, the Cypriot hopes to make a deep run in Paris.

"I really feel at home, because I've been living here for eight years," Baghdatis said. "I speak the language and I know Paris so well. It's really nice."

Seventh-seeded Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, who reached his first Grand Slam semifinal here at Roland Garros last year, advanced to the third round as he claimed a 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 win over Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in their match that was postponed due to darkness on Wednesday.

There was also second round win for 1998 champion Carlos Moya, who made short work of Frenchman Florent Serra 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Twelfth seed David Ferrer was another Spaniard to progress when he did not have much trouble in defeating Argentine Diego Hartfield 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(4).

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2007)

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