Nadal scampers into French Open second round
Date published :
29 May 2012 - 16:46:54
Spanish world number two Rafael Nadal, bidding for a record seventh Roland Garros crown, sped into the second round at the French Open Tuesday with a straight sets win over Italian Simone Bolelli.
Nadal, out to surpass Swedish legend Bjorn Borg with whom he shares six titles in Paris, survived a momentary second set blip to sweep past his 111th-ranked rival 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 and take their series to 3-0 in the champion's favour.
The 25-year-old Mallorcan, looking to join Borg and Rod Laver on 11 Grand Slam singles titles, won in 1hr 58min as he raced into a meeting with either Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan or Russian Igor Kunitsyn.
Nadal was imperiousness personified from the start on the Phillipe Chatrier showcourt 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 his form suffered a minor aberration as he double faulted to drop serve and then had to save a trio of break points to stop Bolelli closing the gap to 4-3 before moving two sets clear after 1hr 24min on court.
Having found his range once more Nadal - only ever beaten once at the venue on seven previous visits, when creaking knees presaged a fourth-round loss to Sweden's Robin Soderling in 2009 - waltzed 3-0 clear in the third.
Bolelli was unable to stem the tide as his rival broke for a 5-1 lead and Nadal inevitably held to take the match and lift his incredible record at the venue to 46-1 as he goes after his fourth clay title of the year.