Nadal starts off on the right foot

Rafa Nadal could not have started his 18th consecutive participation in Roland Garros with a better foot. And worth the use of this set phrase, because the left, which has tormented him since the beginning of his career, did not bother him in his presentation at Philippe Chatrier against Jordan Thompson, whom he beat by a triple 6-2 in 2h02. What Curiously, it is the second time he has won with this score in the tournament, after doing it in 2010, also in the first round, against Frenchman Gianni Mina. The match was ideal for the Spaniard, because the 28-year-old Australian and 82nd in the world gave him rhythm and thus he was able to verify that his mobility is there, recovered. In addition, he unleashed his drive, in many impressive moments. And the rest of his punches and mechanics, barring a few poorly executed loose backhands, worked at a good level to put him through without a hitch in the second round. On Wednesday he will face Frenchman Corentin Moutet, who eliminated Swiss Stan Wawrinka (2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) and 6-3).

“It was a positive game for me, but I am aware that there is room for improvement,” said Nadal, who was respected even in the rain on a gray day with precipitation. “I am happy to have won in three sets,” he said while doctor Ruiz Cotorro, a key to the confidence of the very champion, watched him speak after adding his victory 106 in the Parisian event. Nobody had won so many matches in the same Grand Slam. He overtakes Federer, who has 105 Wimbledon wins (see table).

The drive had not run so well for Nadal at the start of any of the matches on the clay tour. With that blow, which became the winner eight times during the first set (20 in the total of the match), the Spanish often overwhelmed an opponent who was losing confidence in his already few options to cause an upset. In addition, Rafa did not show mobility problems, rather the opposite. And it showed when he quickly responded to a drop shot from Thompson to put up a magnificent lob and then finish off the Aussie’s emergency return.

Most wins in the same Grand Slam

Player Grand Slam victories
Rafael Nadal (Eng) Roland Garros 106
Roger Federer (Sui) Wimbledon 105
Roger Federer (Sui) Open the Australia 102
Jimmy Connors (EE UU) US Open 98
Roger Federer (Sui) US Open 89

winner on trades

Good old Jordan, downhill and without brakes, despaired after losing the first game of the second round with his serve. Nadal ran for all the balls that he tried to put out of his reach. And with a couple more breaks he opened up a bigger distance on the scoreboard. Then he slipped in his worst service game and three errors gave Thompson the first break. It was of little use to him, because Rafa broke again and he, in full anger, threw the ball out with a tremendous racket.

The third quarter was the most competitive until the fifth game. There Nadal scratched a break after winning several long exchanges. It cost him more to place winners, but the truth is that in the overall duel he was better in all ranges. From 0 to 4 shots (42-34), from 5 to 8 (33-8) and more than 9 (15-11). With 3-2, the man from Manacor consolidated the distance and did not let go until closing his victory in “the most important place” of his career, “the same track as always” for him, although it has been renewed. “It’s a gift to be here and opt for a new Roland Garros. I’m going to do everything possible to create opportunities for myself,” he says.