Plain sailing for Djokovic and Nadal, as Tsonga and Karlovic tumble

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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal secured safe passage to the French Open third round with straight-sets wins over Joao Sousa and Robin Haase respectively on Wednesday.

Defending champion Djokovic was a 6-1 6-4 6-3 winner against his Portuguese opponent, conceding one fewer game than he did in brushing aside Marcel Granollers in round one.

'King of Clay' Nadal's quest to win a 10th French Open title continued as he triumphed against Haase by exactly the same scoreline.

It was not a good day for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ivo Karlovic, however, who were both eliminated from the tournament on Wednesday.

Tsonga's first-round match ended in defeat to Renzo Olivo after it was interrupted by bad light on Tuesday, while Karlovic missed out on a place in the third round to Horacio Zeballos.

 

DJOKOVIC FINDING HIS STRIDE

The carrot for Djokovic this year is that he can become the first man in the Open Era to win each of the four grand slams twice.

He is also looking to avoid losing his grip on the last remaining title in his possession following a dip in form, but the Serbian showed some encouraging signs in seeing off Sousa.

A slow start put Sousa on the back foot and Djokovic pounced to take full advantage, although the world number 59 did put up more of a fight later in the contest.

"Generally I felt better than the first round, so that's exactly what I wanted," said Djokovic after the match.

NADAL HELPS HIMSELF TO HAASE WIN

Haase's most notable contribution to his defeat to Nadal was a miscued backhand that struck umpire Arnaud Gabas.

The nine-time French Open champion strolled to success against the Dutchman and was two sets up by the time Haase made contact with the unfortunate man in the chair.

Gabas famously suffered a fractured orbital bone after being hit in the eye by a stray ball from Denis Shapovalov during Great Britain's Davis Cup win over Canada earlier this year.

He was spared the blow to the face on this occasion, as Haase's wayward shot struck him in the leg. Haase acknowledged the incident by aiming an imaginary bow and arrow in the umpire's direction.

A NIGHT/MORNING TO FORGET FOR TSONGA

The bad light that halted Tsonga's first-round match with Olivo only delayed his ultimate exit from the competition in front of heartbroken home fans.

The top French seed was 5-4 down in the fourth set, after dropping the opening two, when the players were brought off late on Tuesday, meaning Olivo only needed one more game to wrap up the match.

And the Argentine immediately clinched a  7-5 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 victory on Tsonga's serve, converting a fourth match point to book a second-round meeting with Kyle Edmund.

"I didn't sleep well," said world number 91 Olivo. "I finished everything at around one o'clock in the morning, so it was really late.

"And then after, with the adrenaline of the match, I couldn't sleep much. So it was tough. I was thinking on the first point, all I wanted was to win the first point. I was thinking about that all night."

 

KARLOVIC CAREERS OUT

Number 23 seed Karlovic has never fared particularly well at Roland Garros - last year's run to the third round matched his best performance in Paris.

And the Croatian proved unable to repeat the feat on Wednesday, losing 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to another Argentine in Zeballos, who goes on to face David Goffin in round three.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic.