Rafael Nadal eliminated Guid Pella from the French Open on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Michel Euler

PARIS - Ten-time champion Rafael Nadal breezed into the French Open third round on Thursday, setting up a clash against childhood friend Richard Gasquet.

Top seed and world number one Nadal, chasing an 11th title, swept past Argentinian Guido Pella 6-2, 6-1, 6-1, showing no signs of the brief struggles he faced in the first round against lucky loser Simone Bolelli.

"I'm very happy, I played more aggressive than in the first round, so I'm very happy with that," said Nadal.

Making a rare appearance on the secondary Court Suzanne Lenglen, Nadal was almost caught cold in the very first game as he was forced to save four break points, but he quickly found his groove and broke for a 4-2 lead.

World number 78 Pella did his best to resist the great Spaniard, saving four set points, but hit a forehand into the net on the fifth.

The rest of the match was totally one-sided, as the 16-time Grand Slam champion finished with 24 forehand winners against an outclassed opponent.

The 31-year-old will next face home favourite, and his old junior rival Gasquet, whom he has beaten 15 times from as many meetings in professional tennis.

"Richard is a very good friend. We've known each other since we were 11 or 12 years old so it will be very special to play again against him on such an important court (Philippe Chatrier) for my career," said the champion.

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