'Unbelievable': Tennis world loses it over Rafa Nadal feat

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Rafael Nadal second round win at Roland Garros saw him become just the fifth player in tennis history to reach 300 grand slam wins. Pic: Getty
Rafael Nadal second round win at Roland Garros saw him become just the fifth player in tennis history to reach 300 grand slam wins. Pic: Getty

Rafael Nadal has joined one of the most exclusive clubs in tennis after breezing past local wildcard Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-1 6-4 in the second round of the French Open.

The win was the 300th grand slam victory of Nadal's illustrious career, with Roger Federer (369) and Novak Djokovic (325) the only men to have won more over their careers.

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Women's champions Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova are the only other players in the history of the sport to have reached the 300-win milestone at grand slams.

"I think it was a good match against a very difficult player with lots of talent," said Nadal, whose build-up to the tournament was hampered by a foot injury.

"The last couple of months haven't been easy. The victories help a lot."

Nadal's French Open record now stands at a staggering 107 wins and just three losses since his 2005 title-winning debut.

The Spaniard is chasing a record-extending 14th French Open crown, with his latest remarkable achievement celebrated across the tennis world.

Elsewhere, World No.1 Djokovic made comfortable work of Slovakia's Alex Molcan, winning 6-2 6-3 7-6 (7/4) against a player trained by his long-time former coach Marian Vajda.

The Slovakian mentor was the man who inspired most of Djokovic's 20 grand slam singles titles.

"So far so good. I'm pleased with the way I'm feeling on the court," Djokovic said after reaching the last 32 at Roland Garros for the 17th straight year.

"It was never going to be an easy match, but I thought I performed very well. Everything is going in the right direction. I'm looking forward to the next challenge."

The top seed will continue his bid for a third Roland Garros crown against Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene in the last 32.

Seen here, Novak Djokovic celebrating his win over Alex Molcan in the second round of the French Open.
Novak Djokovic celebrates victory over Alex Molcan in the second round of the French Open. Pic: Getty

Men's heavyweights survive big second round scares

Things were much more complicated for top men's stars Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev, who were both forced to save match points to avoid major upsets in their second round matches at Roland Garros.

Spanish teenager Alcaraz had to fight back from an early deficit in the fifth set to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 6-7 (9-7) 5-7 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

The sixth seed won six of the final seven games of the match and the final half-dozen points in extraordinary scenes.

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His second-round victory lasted more than four-and-a-half hours but he came perilously close to a surprise defeat.

Alcaraz was one point away from losing when Ramos-Vinolas served for the victory at 5-4 in the fourth set.

But Ramos-Vinolas missed a crucial forehand, and 80 minutes later and after trailing 3-0 in the fifth, Alcaraz earned his first match point and converted it with an ace.

Meanwhile, World No.3 Zverev overcame a woeful start and saved a match point of his own on his way to beating up-and-coming Argentine Sebastian Baez.

The German survived a late fightback from the World No.36 and screamed with relief when Baez sent a forehand wide on match point.

Zverev eventually won in five sets, 2-6 4-6 6-1 6-2 7-5, but said he "couldn't have played worse at the beginning".

with agencies

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