Ruthless Nadal charges into third round at Roland Garros

Spain’s Rafael Nadal takes a break during his match against unseeded Mackenzie McDonald. (AP pic)

PARIS: Rafa Nadal continued his charge towards a 13th French Open title by crushing unseeded American Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 at Roland Garros on Wednesday to reach the third round.

The Spanish second seed also stayed on course to equal his old rival Roger Federer’s record of 20 men’s singles Grand Slam titles.

Serena Williams’ quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title ended after an Achilles tendon injury forced the American to withdraw from the tournament.

The 39-year-old was due to play Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round but pulled out following a warm-up session that left her struggling to walk.

World No 3 Dominic Thiem saved three set points to beat American Jack Sock 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (6) while women’s third seed Elina Svitolina also overcame a wobble to down Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.

Alexander Zverev came through a tough five-setter to knock out Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 and Swiss Stan Wawrinka beat Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka’s campaign ended with a tame 6-2, 6-2 defeat by Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Fifth seed Kiki Bertens survived a match point and cramps against Sara Errani before winning 7-6 (5), 3-6, 9-7 and leaving the court on a wheelchair.

Italian Martina Trevisan downed 16-year-old American Coco Gauff 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in a late match.