Rafa Nadal begins record-extending quest with easy win in French Open

Clay-court master Rafael Nadal started his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 first-round win over Belarusian Egor Gerasimov yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Spaniard, looking to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, had complained about the new balls being too heavy.

But he did not appear too bothered in front of some 200 fans, as he set up a meeting with Mackenzie McDonald.

Nadal said: "I want to play matches with a positive attitude. It's a different Roland Garros with challenging weather conditions."

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic cruised past Sweden's Mikael Ymer 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.

In the women's draw, second seed Karolina Pliskova came from behind to beat qualifier Mayar Sherif 6-7 (9/11), 6-2, 6-4, while Jelena Ostapenko defeated Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-1 to register her first win at Roland Garros since clinching the tournament in 2017. - AFP, REUTERS