13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal made a winning start to Roland-Garros as he convincingly defeated Australia’s Jordan Thompson by 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 at the Philippe-Chartier, Paris on Monday afternoon. There were doubts about Nadal’s fitness but he was able to squash them as he took the first break of the match in the third game of the opening set.
Nadal was at his ferocious best with his forehand play and Thompson had no answers to his onslaught. It was a perfect game for the King of Clay as he wrapped up the match in two hours and two minutes to qualify for the second round of Roland-Garros.
This was Nadal’s 299th Grand slam win and he will look to join the elite 300-club of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic when he will take on French wild card Corentin Moutet.
“It is a good start, of course,” said Nadal in his post-match press conference. “I played good for a while, then [there were] things that I could do better and I need to do better. But it is a positive start, and that’s given me a chance to have one more day of practice tomorrow and then another chance after tomorrow.”
Nadal smashed 27 winners in all as he looked comfortable on a court, where he has reigned supreme. The Spaniard added that it wasn’t all easy against the Australian when he was serving well.
“The match started well for me,” said Nadal. “Immediately I had breaks so [it] was more or less a solid match from my side.
“When he’s serving well, then things become more difficult. He has good legs and can be fast and can be dangerous. But here with such a big court and playing on clay you have more chances against a player like him that can produce great points and great shots, but at the same time, he [can make] mistakes too. On clay that’s difficult.”
Nadal will look to continue the good show in the second round.