Nadal eases into second round

2012-05-29 17:59

Paris - Rafael Nadal, bidding for a record seventh Roland Garros crown, sped into the second round at the French Open on Tuesday with a straight sets win over Italian Simone Bolelli - but stressed it was too early to think about surpassing Swedish legend Bjorn Borg.

Nadal and Borg have both lifted six titles in Paris but aged just 25, clay king Nadal, one of just seven men to lift all four majors, is odds on to shatter the record and take sole ownership of the mark having taken his incredible record in the French capital to 46 wins for only one loss.

He survived a momentary second set blip to sweep past his 111th-ranked rival 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in 1hr 58min and take their series to 3-0 in the champion's favour as he set up a meeting with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

But afterwards the Mallorcan, the world No 2, looking to join Borg and Rod Laver on 11 Grand Slam singles titles, insisted it was too early to envisage the Swede looking on and seeing his record surpassed.

Recalling how he first met Borg in 2004 in Sweden, Nadal said: "He's always very nice with me (but) I've enough work to do thinking about the second round to think if Bjorn will be here."

Asked if he agreed with some of his rivals including Roger Federer that the wind made the conditions unpredictable on the Phillipe Chatrier showcourt, Nadal grinned modestly and stated "I am not the right player to say I don't like that court!"

On Tuesday, he was his imperious self as he broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set which he promptly polished off in 35 minutes.

The red-clad favourite raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set before a minor aberration saw him double fault to drop serve and then save a trio of break points to stop Bolelli closing the gap to 4-3 before moving two sets clear.

Having steadied his ship, Nadal - only ever beaten once at the venue on seven previous visits, when creaking knees contributed to a fourth-round loss to Sweden's Robin Soderling in 2009 - waltzed 3-0 clear in the third and it was game over for Bolelli.

With three clay titles already in his pocket this season it would be a brave man who would bet against Nadal.

But he would only acknowledge that he is out of the starting blocks with the finish line still way ahead.

"I think I did what I had to do today with maybe less stress and nerves than other first round in the past."

Latest results from the third day of the 2012 French Open at Roland Garros on Tuesday (x denotes seeded player):

First round


David Ferrer (ESP x6) bt Lukas Lacko (SVK) 6-3, 6-4, 6-1
Benot Paire (FRA) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3
Robin Haase (NED) bt Ivan Dodig (CRO) 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Alexander Dolgopolov (UKR x16) 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-3
Tommy Haas (GER) bt Filippo Volandri (ITA) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) bt Donald Young (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-1, 6-1
Richard Gasquet (FRA x17) bt Jurgen Zopp (EST) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) bt Igor Andreev (RUS) 3-6, 6-2, 2-1 - retired
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB x8) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3
Jrmy Chardy (FRA) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 11-9
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) bt Go Soeda (JPN) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Julien Benneteau (FRA x29) bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4
Nicolas Almagro (ESP x12) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-3, 7-5, 6-4
Florian Mayer (GER x32) bt Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
Eduardo Schwank (ARG) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-4, 6-0, 6-3
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) 6-2, 6-1, 6-2
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Simone Bolelli (ITA) 6-2, 6-2, 6-1


Francesca Schiavone (ITA x14) bt Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) 6-3, 6-1
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 3-6, 6-0, 6-3
Urszula Radwanska (POL) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-4, 6-3
Petra Kvitova (CZE x4) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 6-1, 6-2
Arantxa Rus (NED) bt Jamie Hampton (USA) 6-4, 4-3 - retired
Heather Watson (GBR) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-2, 6-4
Julia Goerges (GER x25) bt Lucie Hradeck (CZE) 7-6 (7/1), 6-4
Kaia Kanepi (EST x23) bt Alexandra Panova (RUS) 6-3, 6-3
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) bt Lesya Tsurenko (UKR) 6-2, 6-1
Melinda Czink (HUN) bt Anne Keothavong (GBR) 6-1, 6-2
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x22) bt Greta Arn (HUN) 6-4, 6-4
Lourdes Domnguez (ESP) bt Marina Erakovic (NZL) 7-5, 7-5
Ayumi Morita (JPN) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Maria Sharapova (RUS x2) bt Alexandra Cadantu (ROM) 6-0, 6-0