Rafael Nadal returned to his favourite venue in tennis and resumed his winning ways with a first round schooling of teenaged Frenchman Gianni Mina 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday at the French Open.
The match was the first for Nadal at Roland Garros — scene of four titles in four years — since his upset loss in the 2009 fourth round to Robin Soderling.
The former junior number one earlier this year showed poise in front of a home crowd as he inevitably bowed to Spain’s king of clay, winner of all three major lead-in event this spring. Nadal broke six times while fending off all nine of the break points against him.
Second-seed Nadal paced compatriots David Ferrer, 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero and seventh-seed Fernando Verdasco to victories.
Ninth-seed David Ferrer dispatched David Guez of France 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 while Ferrero, the number 16, was equally harsh with Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
Verdasco, loser at the weekend in the Nice final, rebounded from that loss to defeat Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
Roddick rolls on
Sixth-seed Andy Roddick earned a long-odds opening win after missing out of his limited clay-court preparation this spring as he went on a film set with his wife in Hawaii in April and then came down with stomach virus in Madrid at his only scheduled tune-up event.
The American shrugged off the inconvenience to outlast Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in nearly three and a half hours.
Roddick relied on his big serve, firing 19 aces but broke Nieminen on only four of 11 occasions.
“There was a lot of ugliness out there today. But, you know, at the end of it, I get to play again,” said Roddick. “You go into a day hoping to get through a day, and I got through today.”
French 13th-seed Marion Bartoli beat Maria Elena Camerina of Italy 6-2, 6-3, while 16th-seed Yanina Wickmayer downed Czech Sandra Zahlavova 6-1, 6-1.
Keywords: French Open