Djokovic cruises through

Third seed Novak Djokovic secured a second successive straight-sets victory at the French Open to ease into the fourth round.

The Serbian did what was required to defeat gallant American wildcard Wayne Odesnik 7-5 6-4 6-2 on Suzanne Lenglen court.

He plays 18th seed Paul-Henri Mathieu next and looks to be improving round by round after a sluggish start to the tournament which saw him require four sets to get past Germany’s Denis Gremelmayr.

The 21-year-old had stepped up a gear in the second round when he brushed past Migel Angel Lopez Jaen with the loss of just five games.

Mathieu, the highest-ranked Frenchman left in his home grand slam, survived a mid-match slump to defeat world number 75 Eduardo Schwank 6-2 6-3 4-6 7-6 (11/9).

Fernando Verdasco will be reigning champion Rafael Nadal’s fourth consecutive left-handed opponent after he beat 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny in a hard-fought, third-round match.

Verdasco, the 22nd seed, was forced to battle manfully before ultimately easing through 7-6 (7/5) 5-7 7-5 6-1 against the Russian on Court Two, setting up an all-Spanish tussle on Sunday.

Nadal, the second seed and three-time winner, had earlier crushed 26th seed Jarkko Nieminen 6-1 6-3 6-1 to maintain his unbeaten record at Roland Garros.

Nadal came up against left-handed players Thomaz Bellucci and Nicolas Devilder in his opening two rounds.

French wildcard Jeremy Chardy produced a second superb display in as many matches to sink 30th seed Dimitri Tursunov 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 6-4.

Chardy, who as world number 145 is the lowest-ranked player left in the draw, defeated sixth seed David Nalbandian in the second round.

Latvian teenager Ernests Gulbis showed maturity beyond his years to move serenely into the fourth round with a convincing straight-sets victory over Nicolas Lapentti.

The 19-year-old, the youngest player left in the men’s singles, swept to a 6-3 7-5 6-2 victory over the Ecuadorian.

The unseeded Gulbis, ranked 80 in the world, will play Michael Llodra next after the Frenchman defeated Simone Bolelli in three sets.

“I have lost to Llodra twice, but that was indoors and a year ago,” said Gulbis.

“I’m interested how it’s going to go because I have improved since last year, especially physically.”

In the remaining second-round matches to be completed, two unseeded Frenchmen progressed.

Julien Benneteau won 6-0 in the fifth set to edge past Colombia’s Alejandro Falla, while Florent Serra needed four tight sets to eliminate Romania’s Victor Hanescu.

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