Rafael Nadal opened up his bid for a fifth straight French Open title by disposing of American Robby Ginepri 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 in the first round at Roland Garros. The Spaniard cruised to a three-set victory to improve his career record at this major to 60-1, as he seeks his ninth career French Open title.
After Ginerpi double-faulted on his fifth break point, Nadal dominated the first set and took control of the match. He won the opening set in less than 30 minutes and after Ginerpi held serve in his first three service games in the second set, Nadal won the final 10 games of the match to push his way into the second round.
“I won this round, but it was a bit difficult because of the weather,” said Nadal. “It was very important for me, because it gave me the opportunity of having two days’ break so that I can practice. That’s always positive. When you win, you’re always happy. Of course, as always, I had ups and downs, and I could have played being a bit more aggressive.”
Next up for Nadal is 20-year old Austrian Dominic Thiem, who beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-2 in his French Open debut. Thiem is one of the rising stars in the game and knocked off Stan Wawrinka earlier this month in the Mutua Madrid Open.
“I heard very, very good things about him,” Nadal said of Thiem. “I didn’t see him play, but I know he’s a young player and he’s a very dangerous opponent.”
In other first round action at Roland Garros, Japan’s Kei Nishikori saw his tournament come to an end as he fell to Martin Klizan 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-2. It was Nishikori’s first match since withdrawing from the Madrid Open title match against Nadal.
The Slovakian Klizan now moves on to face Robin Haase, who won his match over Nikolay Davydenko, after Davydenko was forced to retire. David Ferrer, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer all eased their way into the second round with victories on Monday, as second-round action at Roland Garros continues today.