French Open 2019 Nadal and Djokovic into second round


Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal secured their places in the French Open second round with routine victories on Philippe-Chatrier.

World number one Djokovic, who could hold all four Grand Slam titles for the second time in his career, beat Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-2 6-2.

Earlier, defending champion and second seed Nadal beat German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2 6-1 6-3.

The Spaniard is chasing a record-extending 12th title at Roland Garros.

Johanna Konta advances to second round for first time
Caroline Wozniacki knocked out in first round
Sixth seed Petra Kvitova withdraws

But Djokovic is in impressive form as he chases history.

“I put myself in a situation where I can actually make tennis history again and obviously I have very high ambitions for this tournament,” said the Serb.

“It’s not the first time that I’m facing these kinds of circumstances. It’s not the first Grand Slam in my career. I have played so many.

“I know it’s two weeks, potentially, long and I just need to be in my lockdown mentally, and just do things that have worked for me in the past.”

After saving four break points in the first game, 17-time Grand Slam winner Nadal dominated throughout and will face German qualifier Yannick Maden in the second round.

The 32-year-old, who won his first title since August at the Italian Open earlier in May, remains a hot favourite to win the Grand Slam.

Djokovic, who warmed up for the tournament by winning the Madrid Open and reaching the Rome final, toyed with his opponent, ranked 44th in the world.

He took the first set with an ace before breaking three times in the second and twice in the third – producing an array of winners and using the drop shot to devastating effect.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion will face Swiss lucky loser Henri Laaksonen, ranked 104th in the world, in the second round.

Another former champion Stan Wawrinka joined Nadal and Djokovic in the second round, with the Swiss beating Slovakia’s Josef Kovalik 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-3.

Meanwhile, Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem – who lost to Nadal in last year’s final and is widely expected to challenge again this year – needed four sets to get past American wildcard Tommy Paul 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

But 12th seed Daniil Medvedev, 15th seed Nikoloz Basilashviliand 20th seed Denis Shapovalov suffered early exits.

Russian Medvedev lost 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5 to French world number 43 Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who gave home fans something to cheer about with his fight-back from two sets down.

Georgia’s Basilashvili, meanwhile, was convincingly beaten 6-4 6-1 6-3 by Argentine world number 78 Juan Ignacio Londero, and Canada’s Shapovalov went out 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-4 to Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

As well as Herbert’s dream comeback win, there were victories for five other Frenchmen in front of their home fans, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon,Benoit Paire,Richard Gasquet and Corentin Moutet all progressing.

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