Mon | Nov 29, 2021

More back problems for Nadal

Published:Sunday | June 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM

PARIS (AP):

Rafael Nadal's back is giving him more trouble than his opponents so far at the French Open.

After pushing his winning streak at Roland Garros to 31 matches with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 victory over 65th-ranked Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in the third round yesterday, eight-time champion Nadal said his bothersome back is forcing him to cut back on the velocity of his serves.

"During my career, I had (a) few problems. ... Hopefully will not be (the) case" the rest of the way in Paris, the No. 1-ranked Nadal said.

"I served more slowly since I started feeling the pain," he said, noting that he's worn tape on his back for extra support.

The man Nadal beat in last year's final, No. 5 David Ferrer, defeated No. 32 Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-3. Ferrer now plays No. 19 Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

WILD MATCH

No. 23 Gael Monfils of France put together a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 win over No. 14 Fabio Fognini of Italy in a wild match that included a point penalty for Fognini when he threw his racket and it landed near a ball boy. Monfils and Fognini combined for more than twice as many unforced errors, 137, as winners, 66.

Earlier yesterday, No. 15 Sloane Stephens moved into the fourth round for the sixth major in a row. The American now meets No. 4 Simona Halep of Romania. Other fourth-round matchups: 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova against No. 23 Lucie Safavora; 2012 runner-up Sara Errani against No. 6 Jelena Jankovic; No. 28 Andrea Petkovic against 148th-ranked qualifier Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

As the sun came out and the temperature topped 70 degrees (20 Celsius) after several days of overcast skies and occasional rain, Stephens eliminated No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 6-4, while Halep beat 55th-ranked Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of Spain 6-3, 6-0.