Monday 19 August 2019

Nadal and Djokovic get off to strong starts at French Open

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 27, 2019. Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his first round match against Germany's Yannick Hanfmann. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 27, 2019. Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his first round match against Germany's Yannick Hanfmann. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Rafael Nadal began his quest for a 12th French Open title with a comfortable victory over German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.

Philippe Chatrier may look different but this was an awfully familiar sight as Nadal eased to a 6-2 6-1 6-3 win in an hour and 57 minutes.

It was a good effort from Hanfmann, who hit 20 winners and was a little closer to his opponent than the scoreline suggested, but there was never any doubt about the winner.

Nadal was content with his performance, saying: "It was a first round, and I did a lot of things well. Not many mistakes. Being very solid all the time.

"Of course it is the beginning and the first round is more about talking about what I have to do better. What I did very well today is just about the general feeling, and the general feeling has been positive this afternoon."

Nadal will face another German qualifier next in Yannick Maden, who defeated Belgian Kimmer Coppejans.

Nadal was followed onto Chatrier by Novak Djokovic, the man many believe he will meet in the final, and the world number one was equally convincing.

Djokovic was drawn against Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who has been steadily climbing the rankings, but the top seed was dialled in from the start and eased to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory.

He will next meet Swiss Henri Laaksonen, who is through to the second round for the first time.

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