Nadal, Thiem Breeze In French Openers, Medvedev Out; Djokovic Tues.
by Staff | September 28th, 2020, 8:43 pm
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Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem both won comfortable opening matches at the French Open on Monday.

Thiem, playing his first match since becoming a Grand Slam champion, fought through a tough first set before rolling past fellow US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

“I really love this tournament. It is, by far, my best Grand Slam tournament so far,” said Thiem, in an on-court interview. “I wanted to prepare well. I didn’t want to lose too much tension after my victory in New York and I am really happy how I did it.

“I am really happy with my first round. I was facing another great champion today. The transition to the clay and the cold conditions worked out pretty well.”

Thiem had no issues with the cool temperatures that with it brought early rains to the day, though this match was played in Chatrier.

“I love the conditions because I am from Austria,” he added.. “I know how it is to play in these cold conditions and back in juniors and when I started to play Futures, it was always like that, 10 to 15 degrees cold. I love it when it is not too fast, so I can be a little bit behind the baseline and make a lot of returns in court. I feel well and I felt well from the first moment I came here again this year. I am looking forward to an exciting second round.”

Nadal ended the day on Chatrier winning his 94th career match at the French Open cruising past Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

“It is a different Roland Garros. Totally different than we are used to… But for me this year is as special as every one at Roland Garros,” Nadal said on court. “I am going to keep trying my best. I am happy to be in the second round, a good start and now is the moment to go back to the hotel, have a good practice tomorrow and try to be ready for the second round.”

Nadal will now face 25-year-old American Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday.

Four Top 20 seeds did fall led by No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev who stayed winless at the French Open following a late-night loss to Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-1.

After smashing his racquet which prompted a point penalty to go down two sets, Medvedev got back on track in the third but it wasn’t enough as the Hungarian collected his first Top 10 win in 15 tries.

Local favorite Gael Monfils went down Alexander Bublik in four sets. Fabio Fognini and Felix Auger-Aliassime also fell.

Karen Khachanov and Pablo Carreno Busta were winners, and in the match of the day, Lorenzo Giustino ousted Frenchman Corentin Moutet 0-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(3), 2-6, 18-16 in 6 hours, 5 minutes. The match, which was continued at 4-3 in the third from yesterday, becomes the second longest in French Open history.

On tap Tuesday, the first round concludes with Novak Djokovic opening his bid for a second Career Grand Slam. Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov, who faces Gilles Simon.

TUESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
** Court Philippe CHATRIER ** Début à 11h00
1 SD 1 Mayar SHERIF (EGY) contre Karolina PLISKOVA (CZE) [2]
suivi de
2 SD 1 Laura SIEGEMUND (GER) contre Kristina MLADENOVIC (FRA)
3 SM 1 Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) [1] contre Mikael YMER (SWE)
4 SM 1 Denis SHAPOVALOV (CAN) [9] contre Gilles SIMON (FRA)

** Court Suzanne LENGLEN ** Début à 11h00
1 SM 1 Vasek POSPISIL (CAN) contre Matteo BERRETTINI (ITA) [7]
suivi de
2 SD 1 Liudmila SAMSONOVA (RUS) contre Sofia KENIN (USA)[4]
3 SM 1 Jaume MUNAR (ESP) contre Stefanos TSITSIPAS (GRE) [5]
4 SD 1 Aryna SABALENKA (BLR)[8] contre Jessica PEGULA (USA)


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