Top seed and reigning champion Rafael Nadal stormed through the first round match against wild card holder Robby Ginepri at French Open 2014. The king of clay issued the World no. 279 American a couple of bagels and only let him on the board in the second set where he rescued the single break point he faced over the course of one hour and forty-four minutes. Rafa progressed by winning 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 and should be in for a tougher test in the round two as he is scheduled to play Austrian Dominic Thiem, ranked 57th.
“I won this round, but it was a bit difficult because of the weather,” said Nadal, “but it was very important for me, because it gave me the opportunity of having two days’ break so that I can practise. That’s always positive. When you win, you’re always happy. Of course, as always, I had ups and downs, and I could have played being a bit more aggressive.”
Nadal’s biggest rival Novak Djokovic, seed number two, also put in a strong performance to overcome 44th-ranked Portugal Joao Sousa. He broke his today’s opponent eight times, whilst none of the three losses of serve he suffered had any real impact on the outcome of the clash. Novak thus cruised to the round of 64 thanks to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory achieved in less than two hours of play. He will meet Jeremy Chardy of France in the round of 64.
“I played, for most of the match, quite solid,” said Djokovic. “[The] end of the match was not so nice from my side. [I] dropped my serve twice.
The biggest surprise of the tournament so far is the early exit of Australian Open conqueror Stan Wawrinka who failed to prevail over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The World no. 41 Spaniard turned the tide of the opener to move one nil up before the third-seeded Swiss edged him out in the second set to level the terms. However, Wawrinka could not complete a comeback as the Spanish athlete restored the lead and destroyed the Swiss in the fourth set for a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 triumph.
Ninth seed Kei Nishikori also crashed out of this year’s Roland Garros in the opening round when meeting Slovakia’s Martin Klizan who rallied from behind to claim the first set and swept the Japanese off the court in both of the remaining ones to win 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-2.