Nadal eases through as Williams overcomes early hiccup at French Open

Nadal eases through as Williams overcomes early hiccup at French Open

Claycourt master Rafael Nadal started his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a straightforward 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 first-round win against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov on Monday.

Third seed Thiem was competing for the first time as a Grand Slam victor and followed his fourth win in as many head-to-head clashes against Cilic.

Fourteenth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini and 19th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime both lost in the first round of the French Open.

Nadal won the first of his 12 French Open titles in 2005 and has been beaten just twice in 95 matches here, but now must adjust to the unusual autumnal chill due to the coronavirus-induced delay.

Former champion Garbine Muguruza was pushed the distance by Tamara Zidansek before coming out on top in their first round encounter with a 7-5 4-6 8-6 victory on court Simonne Mathieu.

The 19-year-old Swiatek, who reached the fourth round at last year's tournament, next faces the crafty Hsieh Su-Wei for a place in the last 32.

Yet nothing was quite as dramatic as Lorenzo Giustino's epic triumph over Frenchman Corentin Moutet.

"The biggest difference was just confidence", the American said after the match as per the WTA website.

In the women's draw, Serena Williams resumed her hunt for a record-equalling 24th major title with a 7-6 (2) 6-0 win over fellow American Kristie Ahn. It is true that there are many players complaining and that they are not satisfied with the conditions in which we will play, but I focus on myself.

"This was one of my dreams to play in a slam and I didn't really think I was going to make it this far, especially when down match points in that first qualifying match". "That's what I did since I arrived here". "But for me this year is as special as every one at Roland Garros", Nadal said on court.

Serena Williams admitted she was struggling with a lack of confidence in the opening set of her first-round match. "I'm from Austria so I know how it is to play in these cold conditions".

Nadal is now ranked 5th in the world rankings, and recently lost to Argentine Diego Schwartzman at the Rome Masters 6-2, 7-5.

"I'm really happy to be back at Chatrier", he told a smattering of the 1,000 fans permitted daily at Roland Garros.

Daniel Nestor, one of the most decorated doubles players of all time, ended his glorious career in the Davis Cup two years ago.

The fifth set alone lasted three hours and had a total of 11 break points shared between the two players.

US Open victor Dominic Thiem, the runner-up to Nadal in Paris the past two years, defeated former Slam champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

The record dates back to 2004, when Fabrice Santoro beat Arnaud Clement 6-4 6-3 6-7 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 in six hours and 33 minutes in an all-French first-round match.

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