Nadal won the service game seven times against Thompson, the world number 82, who at times made a distraught impression. The Spaniard, the number 5 in the world, barely made any unnecessary mistakes and let the Australian – who knocked another ball out of the stadium out of frustration – work for every point. Only in the second set did Nadal have a lesser phase and he was broken.
After 2 hours and 2 minutes, Nadal used his first match point in an illustrative way. After a long rally, Thompson made a mistake with his backhand.
Nadal has arrived in Paris without winning a title during the clay-court season. At the beginning of this month, he lost in the third round in Rome, leaving doubts about his form. “I will do my best every game to reach my highest level again,” said the 21-time grand slam champion.
Last year, 35-year-old Nadal lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals in Paris. This year he can already meet the Serb in the last eight.
Novak Djokovic gets off to a great start
Novak Djokovic also reached the second round without any form of difficulty. The defending champion and also number one in the world settled with Yoshihito Nishioka from Japan: 6-3, 6-1 and 6-0.
Djokovic and Nadal could possibly meet in the quarterfinals. Last year, the Serbian Nadal inflicted a rare defeat on the Parisian clay in the semi-final battle. Also in 2015, Djokovic won against the clay king in Paris. In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2020, Nadal beat the Serb at Roland Garros.
First grand slam tournament
For Djokovic, who won Roland Garros for the second time last year, it was his first appearance at a grand slam tournament this year. He was banned from participating in the Australian Open earlier this year by the Australian authorities and was unable to defend his title there. He also did not play at the masters tournaments in the United States earlier this year. He recently won the masters tournament in Rome.
Djokovic will face the winner of the match between Slovakian Alex Molcan and Argentinian Federico Coria in the second round.
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