Djokovic, Nadal, Muguruza Ease Into French Open 2nd Round
Paris, May 29 (IANS) Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza made flying starts as they eased into the second round of the French Open tennis championship here on Monday.
The men’s singles second seed Djokovic of Serbia recorded a convincing 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Spanish Marcel Granollers in two hours and 27 minutes in front of his new coach Andre Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam singles winner, reports Xinhua news agency.
Djokovic celebrated his victory by waving along with several ball boys from the centre of the Philippe-Chatrier Court.
The Serbian is bidding to become the first man to have won each of the four Grand Slams at least twice in the Open Era. He will next face Joao Sousa of Portugal in the second round.
Nadal kicked off his campaign for a record 10th French Open trophy with an easy win of 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 against host player Benoit Paire under two hours in men’s singles first round on Monday.
The fourth seed won eight out of 18 break points, and was only contested in the second set, where he was broken twice by the Frenchman and trailed 1-3.
The Spanish star came back into the game to level the score at 4-4, before taking the next two games for a two-set lead.
“At the start, I always feel happy about the victory. He’s an uncomfortable opponent that already had some good victories this year,” said Nadal.
“I played a very good first set. During the second I suffered a little bit bad point. After that I made the break straight and then finished a close set, then it was a little bit less difficult,” he added.
Nadal’s opponent in the second round will be Robin Haase of the Netherlands, who defeated Australian Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.
“It’s important to serve a little bit better than what I did today,” commented Nadal.
Women’s singles title-holder Muguruza of Spain overcame Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4.
“It was a tough first match,” commented Muguruza after her maiden victory in the 2017 edition of the tournament.
For her, the 2010 champion and 2011 runner-up Schiavone had many unbelievable moments. The fourth-seeded Spanish called the 36-year-old Schiavone a legend in an on-court interview after the game.
“She has been in the tour for such a long time. When I look back on some videos, I heard her name. She’s still playing, and fitter than most of the players,” Muguruza said of Schiavone.
“I think she loves it. She kind of enjoys out there,” added the Spanish star, who will meet Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.
Meanwhile, Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic started his journey at the 2017 French Open with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Belgian Steve Darcis in an hour and a half, reports Efe.
Roberto Bautista, seeded 17th, also moved to the second round after beating Australian John Millman 6-2, 6-2, 0-6, 6-1.
Bautista reached the fourth round of the 2016 French Open and achieved a career-high singles ranking of world No.13 in October 2016.
His next opponent will be Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin, who in the first round beat American Tennys Sandgren, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
Croatian Marin Cilic defeated Latvian Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to set-up a second-round clash against Russian Konstantin Kravchuk, who got the better of Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 in two hours and 25 minutes.
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