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French Open: Nadal, Djokovic don't hang around as Dominic gets through just in Thiem

By Opta
Rafael Nadal needed just under two hours to defeat Yannick Hanfmann

Paris, May 28: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were in no mood to hang around in their respective opening-round matches at the French Open, but Dominic Thiem needed to overcome a Monday (May 27) wobble.

Defending champion and tournament favourite Nadal needed just under two hours to defeat Yannick Hanfmann, while Djokovic required only 97 minutes to defeat Hubert Hurkacz.

Austrian Thiem, a losing finalist to Nadal a year ago, did not have things all his own way en route to beating Tommy Paul, but eventually came through in four sets.

Elsewhere, Stan Wawrinka and Borna Coric came through in four sets, while there was plenty of home success at Roland Garros.


Nadal was expected to have few problems against the unfancied Hanfmann and that proved to be the case in a 6-2 6-1 6-3 triumph.

Hanfmann received a text from a friend when the draw was made that translated as "are you kidding me?!" but facing Nadal is certainly no joke and his pre-match assertion that facing the Spaniard on clay is the "ultimate test" was bang on the money.


It was textbook Djokovic in his 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory over Hurkacz - a player tipped for a bright future.

Djokovic can, for the second time in his career, hold all four slams at the same time if he triumphs at Roland Garros and the Serbian feels he is in the right frame of mind to cope with that pressure.

"I put myself in a situation where I can actually make history of tennis again and I have very high ambitions for this tournament. It's not a secret," he said.

"But at the same time, it's not the first time that I'm facing these kind of circumstances. I know it's two weeks potentially and I just need to be in my lockdown mentally and just do things that have worked for me in the past."


With the sun fading in the Parisien backdrop, Thiem faced the threat of having to finish his first-round tie to Paul on Tuesday.

But the Austrian eventually prevailed 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 against the American to set up a round-two meeting with Alexander Bublik.


The popular Wawrinka, a champion in Paris in 2015, overcame Jozef Kovalik 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-3, while Coric also needed four sets in a 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 beating of Aljaz Bedene.

And there was plenty for the vocal home fans to cheer, with six French players reaching round two.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Benoit Paire, Gilles Simon and Corentin Moutet all made it through, while Jeremy Chardy's match with Kyle Edmund was interrupted by fading light in the fifth set.

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 1:40 [IST]
Other articles published on May 28, 2019
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