Rafa finishes 2-day win over Bolelli, Sharapova marks Paris comeback
Paris: Rafael Nadal racked up his 80th win at Roland Garros on Tuesday as the 10-time champion defeated Italian lucky loser Simone Bolelli 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9) to reach the second round.
World number one Nadal had been two sets up but 0-3 down in the third when rain caused the tie to be suspended late Monday.
He quickly levelled at 3-3 on Tuesday and saved four break points in the eighth game before saving four set points.
Nadal eventually claimed the match on a third match point when Bolelli dumped a forehand into the net.
The top seeded Nadal, bidding for an 11th title in Paris and his 17th major, next faces Argentina's Guido Pella for a place in the last-32.
Meanwhile in the women's section, two-time champion Maria Sharapova survived a serious scare to claim a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp in her first French Open match since 2015 on Tuesday.
The Russian was controversially not given a wildcard by organisers for the tournament last year, which took place shortly after her return from a doping suspension.
Sharapova, the 28th seed, will face Croatia's Donna Vekic in the second round.
The five-time Grand Slam winner is only seeded at Roland Garros courtesy of a semi-final run in Rome earlier this month which dragged her back into the top 30 for the first time since her ban. The 31-year-old took just 24 minutes to win the first set of a match which was delayed from Monday due to thunderstorms, but threw away a 3-1 lead in the second as world number 133 Hogenkamp forced a decider.
Sharapova was staring down the barrel of falling at first hurdle in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2010 Australian Open when trailing 3-0 in the third, but the former world number one dug deep and reeled off six straight games to edge into round two.
Croatian Marin Cilic, third-seeded, on Tuesday beat Australia's James Duckworth 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) to advance to the second round of the French Open.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, blasted 47 winners including 13 aces during the match, which lasted two hours and 13 minutes, reported Efe. The Croatian world No. 4 is set to play Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, who beat the US' Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff managed to overcome Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in just one hour and 20 minutes.
Struff's opponent in the second round is to be the winner of the match between US player Steve Johnson and France's Adrian Mannarino.
It's a big day at the French Open as Serena Williams makes her comeback on Day 3 of the clay-court Grand Slam following the birth of her daughter in September.
Serena hasn't played in a major since winning her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open and a big question mark is hanging over her current form.
Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza, third seeded, prevailed on Tuesday over Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 in the first round of the French Open, after the match was suspended for around half an hour due to rain.