Nadal passes opening Roland Garros test

Updated: 26 May 2010 17:17 IST

Four-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal began his campaign to win back his Roland Garros title with a convincing 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over France's Gianni Mina

Nadal passes opening Roland Garros test

Paris:

"nadal.jpg"Four-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal began his campaign to win back his Roland Garros title with a convincing 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over France's Gianni Mina, the world 655, on Tuesday.

Nadal, whose unbeaten record in Paris came to an agonising end in the fourth round in 2009, courtesy of knee trouble combined with Robin Soderling's performance of a lifetime, next faces Argentina's Horacio Zeballos.

"My goal is always to play my best tennis. I would love to come back here every year as defending champion but that's impossible," said the Spanish world number two, bidding to become only the second man after Bjorn Borg to win five French Opens.

"Last year Robin Soderling played very well to beat me. Now we will see what happens."

Nadal ended an 11th-month trophy drought in the run-up to Roland Garros, winning all three springtime claycourt Masters in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid.

It took his Masters trophy collection to a record 18 and helped banish the misery of the injury-cursed second half of 2009.

"Winning three Masters was a dream, but a Grand Slam tournament is always more difficult," he said.

"I feel great. I had a hard time for 11 months with no title so to win those Masters events was very important."

Mina, who at 18 was the youngest player -- as well as the lowest-ranked -- in the men's draw, wasn't overawed by the occasion on Tuesday, even carving out seven break points against the great Spaniard in the first set.

But Nadal saved them all and eventually moved untroubled into the next round after 2hr 23min of action on Court Suzanne Lenglen.



Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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