World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer began their marches to a potential fourth consecutive French Open final on Monday, moving into round two in straight sets.
Nadal subdued Brazilian qualifier Marcos Daniel 7-5, 6-4, 6-3, while Federer overcame a slow start to defeat Spain’s Al Martin 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Nadal, who took to the court in a day-glo pink shirt, said he needs time to settle in on the fast clay, and the shirt is a nice change-up.
“I don’t know,” Nadal told reporters when grilled about the shirt. “Why was I in white and yellow two weeks ago? It’s better than dress the same color every week, no?”
“I expected a tough match,” Nadal said. “I did not start with my best tennis here in the past four years. But the important thing is to have a positive mentality and try to win. And I won. I won in three sets. That’s important.”
Federer also took control after clinching the opening set.
“Once I got the upper hand, things were pretty much in control,” said Federer, who will next face Argentine Jose Acasuso. “I served well when I had to, and mixed it up. That’s how I want to play. I’m happy to be through without a fright.”
Other Top 10 winners were No. 6 Andy Roddick who cruised past French wildcard Romain Jouan 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 10 Nikolay Davydenko who showed little evidence of his foot injury with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win over Stefan Koubek.
Roddick will next face Ivo Minar, who stretched him to four sets in Davis Cup play in 2007.
Italy’s Simone Bolelli put in the court time in the only upset on the day, topping No. 19 Tomas Berdych 6-3 in the fifth after squandering a 2-0 set lead.
Other seeded winners into the second round were Fernando Gonzalez, Stan Wawrinka over France’s Nicolas Devilder in five, Robin Soderling, Jurgen Melzer, Igor Andreev over qualifier Fabio Fognini in five, Feliciano Lopez over qualifier Franco Ferreiro in five, Victor Hanescu, and Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Matches to look out for on Tuesday at Roland Garros are Nicolas Lapentti vs. (4) Novak Djokovic, an all-French in Julien Benneteau vs. (9) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, American Bobby Reynolds vs. the injured (11) Gael Monfils, Fabrice “The Magician” Santoro vs. Christophe “The Roach” Rochus, (5) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. net-rusher Michael Llodra, the clay-shaky (15) James Blake vs. Argentine Leonardo Mayer, former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Ivan Ljubicic, Maximo “Gonzo v.2” Gonzalez vs. (22) Mardy Fish, the senior citizens match-up in Andrei Pavel vs. Tommy Haas, (22) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Aussie hope Bernard Tomic, and Marcos Baghdatis vs. Juan Monaco.
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