Nadal starts French Open quest with 1st-round victory
Defending champion Rafael Nadal began his campaign for a 10th French Open with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 <g data-gr-id="35">breeze</g> past France’s world number 296 Quentin <g data-gr-id="29">Halys</g> on Tuesday.
<g data-gr-id="27">Nadal,</g> seeded a humble six this year -- his lowest for a decade -- needed just one hour and 50
minutes to record his 67th career win at Roland Garros. (David Ferrer Completes 300th Claycourt Win)
The 28-year-old Spaniard, who is seeded to meet world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, came into the tournament without a European clay court title for the first time since 2005 and with many in the sport writing him off as a spent force.
But in a cheeky riposte to his critics, the 14-time major winner played with the number ‘9’ stitched into the heels of his tennis shoes to remind people of his astonishing record at the tournament.
Nadal was not troubled by <g data-gr-id="25">Halys</g> who was making his Grand Slam debut and playing just his second tour-level match. (Sharapova Marches into Second Round)
<g data-gr-id="31">Halys</g>, 19, did retrieve an early break in the sixth game of the first set before Nadal reasserted his dominance to take the opener 6-3.
And that was about as good as it got for the Frenchman who ended the tie on Philippe Chatrier Court being broken five times and making 52 unforced errors.
Nadal edged ahead again in the second set for a decisive 4-2 lead while another break for 3-2 in the third proved enough.
Nadal goes on to face either compatriot Nicolas Almagro or Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov for a place in the last 32.
Bhupathi-<g data-gr-id="60">Kyrgios</g> pair <g data-gr-id="61">lose</g> in first round
Indo-Australian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Nick <g data-gr-id="74">Kyrgios</g> failed to cross the opening hurdle of the men’s doubles event, suffering a straight-set defeat against Lucas Pouille and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the French Open tennis tournament here on Tuesday.
Bhupathi and Nick failed to curb their errors as Lucas and Thanasi sent down six aces before notching up a 6-3 6-1 win. The French-Australian combo converted four of the seven break point chances that came their way even as Bhupathi and Nick squandered nine opportunities.
Among other Indians, Leander Paes will pair up with Canada’s Daniel Nestor to take on Australia’s James Duckworth and Chris Guccione on Wednesday. Ninth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florin <g data-gr-id="73">Mergea</g> will clash with <g data-gr-id="75">Serbian</g> pair of Viktor Troicki and Filip Krajinovic in another men’s doubles match.
300th clay-court win for <g data-gr-id="108">ferrer</g>
Spanish tennis player David Ferrer attained his 300th clay-court win on Tuesday defeating Czech Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in just one hour and 22 minutes in the first round of the French Open. Ferrer is the second on the list of most wins on clay amongst active players, only surpassed by compatriot Rafael Nadal, while with this win, Ferrer joined the list of 13 players who have ever celebrated 300 victories or more on clay, reports Efe. Ferrer’s win against Lacko is his 37th in Roland Garros, making him the <g data-gr-id="110">second ranked</g> Spaniard in total match wins at the French Open. Agencies