Nadal rolls after sonic boom rattles French Open

PARIS — Defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the third round of the French Open by beating American player Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 on Wednesday.

The No. 2-seeded Spaniard is looking to win his record-extending 13th French Open title and equal Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 major titles overall.

Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 95-2 when he sealed victory on his first match point.

He next faces Kei Nishikori of Japan or Stefano Travaglia of Italy.

While Nadal made some noise, it was a noise of a different kind that rattled players earlier in the day at Roland Garros.

On Court Suzanne Lenglen, the second-biggest stadium at the French Open, Dominik Koepfer was interrupted midserve by a sonic boom caused by a fighter plane breaking the sound barrier.

Koepfer’s shoulders dropped and he pulled out of his serving action, then looked across the net at opponent Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss player looked equally bemused as he stood perfectly still before play eventually continued.

Before the cause of the loud bang was known, there was a brief moment of panic outside the grounds of Roland Garros in western Paris as police officers gave instructions to cordon off the area with the possibility of evacuating people. A few security officials sprinted down Boulevard d’Auteuil — a long road leading to one of the main entry gates — shouting into two-way radios.

A few minutes later, however, police revealed the cause and officials on the grounds were told of the “false alert.”

“I was shocked like everybody, for sure,” Wawrinka said after his 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory. “We ask the umpire to let me know what was it. Everybody had the answer quite early, so was all good.”

In another match, Sebastian Korda advanced to the third round of his first French Open after another victory against a tour veteran. After eliminating Andreas Seppi in his opening main draw match, the 20-year-old American qualifier took out 21st-seeded John Isner in the second round with a 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win.

A former junior world No. 1 and winner of the boys’ title at the 2018 Australian Open — and the son of 1992 finalist Petr Korda — Korda broke Isner’s normally dominant serve five times.

The No. 213-ranked Korda will next face either Mikhail Kukushkin or qualifier Pedro Martinez on Friday.

Also, No. 27-seeded American Taylor Fritz reached the third round by serving 16 aces in a straight-sets victory over Radu Albot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Read Full Article