Nadal, Djokovic Dominate In French Openers; Thiem Survives, Medvedev Out
by Staff | May 27th, 2019, 4:54 pm

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were on back-to-back on Philippe Chatrier as they opened played Monday at the French Open. And neither had to sweat much.

Nadal, as suspected, rolled over qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. It was his 17th straight win at Roland Garros where he’s seeking a 12th title.

“I did a lot of things well,” said Nadal. “I did not make many mistakes, being very solid all the time. [I’m] happy to be through to the second round, and that’s the main thing today in straight sets, positive feelings. Every year is a new challenge… and today I was able to win the first challenge, and after tomorrow I am going to have the second challenge.

Nadal’s not done with Yannicks, yet. He’ll face qualifier Yannick Maden in the second round.

Djokovic was expected to be tested by the rising Pol Hubert Hurkacz but that wasn’t the case. Djokovic rolled to a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

“I like the fact that I had a very good, quality opponent in the first round, because that gets me going with the right intensity from the start. I’m focused, I’m determined, and sharp from the blocks,” Djokovic said. “Even though I never played him, never faced him in official match, I still felt he can be a great threat if I allow him to play his tennis. So I actually thought I played well. All the elements in my game worked well, so I’m very pleased.”

Djokovic will get two days off before returning Thursday against Henri Laaksonen.

Third favorite Dominic Thiem was supposed to cruise against American Tommy Paul, but early on it was far from easy. The 22-year-old Paul hung tough against Thiem out on Suzanne Lenglen stealing the second set then going up 4-0 in the third set breaker. Thiem powered back and took the breaker and ran away with the match 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.

“It was definitely difficult, but I didn’t expect at all an easy match,” Thiem said. “I wasn’t playing my best today, that’s for sure. But, I mean, we all could see what happens if I don’t play my best tennis. He was playing amazing then. It was very, very close. And of course the key moment of the match was the tie-break in the third set.”

Paul was part of a tough day for American men who went 0-6 on Monday. No. 32 seed and sick-feeling Frances Tiafoe was among those losses falling to Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

Three other seeds other lost: No. 12 Daniil Medvedev to Pierre-Hugues Herbert in 5, No. 15 Nikolaz Basilashvili was routed by Juan Ignacio Londero, and No. 20 Denis Shapovalov was bounced by Jan-Lennard Struff in straights.

Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric, Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were also winners.

On Thursday, the first round wraps up with Juan Martin del Potro, Alexander Zverev and Gael Monfils in action.

Court Philippe CHATRIER Début à 11h00
John MILLMAN (AUS) v Alexander ZVEREV (GER) [5]
Naomi OSAKA (JPN) [1] v Anna Karolina SCHMIEDLOVA (SVK)
Taro DANIEL (JPN) v Gael MONFILS (FRA)[14]

Court Suzanne LENGLEN Début à 11h00
Nicolas JARRY (CHI) v Juan Martin DEL POTRO (ARG) [8]
Caroline GARCIA (FRA)[24] v Mona BARTHEL (GER)
Simone BOLELLI (ITA) v Lucas POUILLE (FRA)[22]
Evgeniya RODINA (RUS) v Madison KEYS (USA)[14]

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2 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic Dominate In French Openers; Thiem Survives, Medvedev Out

RZ Says:

Nike seems to have chosen as 7 year old man playing golf look for Tommy Paul.

I heard that PHH wanted to concentrate on singles (and with his win today it bodes well) but I was surprised that he didn’t at least stick out playing this tournament with Mahut, who is playing instead with Melzer.

RZ Says:

^ that should be 70 year old man

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