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.
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.
💥 GRAND SLAM WIN #300! 💥
🇪🇸 @RafaelNadal has recorded the 300th Grand Slam win of his career, defeating France's Corentin Moutet, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, in the second round of #RolandGarros
Nadal is now 300-41 in his career at Grand Slams (.880) and 107-3 at Roland Garros (.973) 💪
— TENNIS (@Tennis) May 25, 2022
300 Grand Slam victories for Rafael Nadal! The King of Clay gets past Corentin Moutet, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, to improve to 107-3 lifetime at #RG.
— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) May 25, 2022
Rafael Nadal became the 5th player, male or female, in tennis history to win 300+ matches in majors joining Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, and Martina Navratilova. pic.twitter.com/EvGypDqImi
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 25, 2022
3️⃣0️⃣0️⃣+ Grand Slam Match Wins in the Open Era:
369 Roger Federer
365 Serena Williams
325 Novak Djokovic
306 Martina Navratilova
300 Rafael Nadal
— Luis. (@serenapower_) May 25, 2022
Grand slam win no. 300 for Rafael Nadal. He moves to 107-3 at #RolandGarros. Unbelievable! He's in a really tough half of the draw, though.
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) May 25, 2022
Happy to see Nadal join the 300 Grand Slam wins club along with Federer and Djokovic. Yet another notable and distinguishing accomplishment for the "Big 3". https://t.co/wnhfgijNiI
— The Tennisologist (@MrTennisologist) May 25, 2022
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.
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.
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".
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