Jankovic beats Nara in straight sets

Kyodo, Reuters, AP

Kurumi Nara fell in the second round at the French Open on Thursday, losing to Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, the women’s sixth seed, in the second round.

Nara, ranked 44th in the world, lost 7-5, 6-0. It was the third straight time the former world No. 1 had shown Nara the door at a Grand Slam event, defeating her in last year’s U.S. Open and again at this year’s Australian Open.

“This (score) represents the difference in our strength. She was so much better than me,” Nara said after her loss at Roland Garros’ center stage, Court Philippe Chartrier.

“I was frankly surprised to be playing on center court. I want to beat a top player the next time I appear on such a stage.”

Jankovic was trailing 5-4 in the first set, but didn’t lose another game. Nara lost the plot with her serve in the 11th game and her game unraveled.

Also Thursday, eight-time champion Rafa Nadal showed glimpses of his awe-inspiring best as he beat Austrian sensation Dominic Thiem 6-2 6-2 6-3 to reach the third round.

The world No. 1 and 20-year-old Thiem traded forehand winners in a spectacular match on court Philippe Chatrier but the Spaniard too often had the extra shot.

Nadal, who for the first time arrived at Roland Garros having lost three matches on his favored clay in the season, sealed victory on his second match point when Thiem sent a forehand long.

“Dominic is a dangerous player and I knew that if I wasn’t playing well then I’d be in trouble,” said Nadal.

“But he is a future star, 100 percent. His level of ball is very high, he is strong on the forehand and backhand. He has everything to be a big champion.”

The Spaniard will next face Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili or Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

Fifth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain also advanced to the third round by beating Italy’s Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

Ferrer, last year’s runner-up to Nadal, broke Bolleli’s serve five times and saved all four break points he faced.