PARIS (AP) — From a tiff with the chair umpire to the big deficit he created and then needed to overcome in a steady rain, Novak Djokovic had an all-around difficult day at the French Open.
Rafael Nadal's journey to the fourth round, in contrast, could hardly have been easier. Indeed, his 100th best-of-five-set match on clay was also the most lopsided.
The stark numbers on the scoreboards at Court Philippe Chatrier revealed plenty about how differently things went in the back-to-back contests Friday for defending champion Djokovic and nine-time champion Nadal. First up in the main stadium at Roland Garros was Nadal, who won 82 points and conceded merely 36 in a 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 victory over 63rd-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili.
"The score is quite embarrassing, you know," Basilashvili acknowledged, "but I have to accept it."
Djokovic followed in the main stadium and found himself in quite a bit of trouble right away against 41st-ranked Diego Schwartzman before emerging to win 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.