Rafael Nadal is all grimace and effort when performing a service during his first round match this Monday at Roland Garros. (Alessandra Tarantino)
Paris. – The Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Garbiñe Muguruza overcame their respective first-round duels at Roland Garros on Monday.
The twelve-time winner of the Musketeers' Cup defeated Belarusian Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours.
“I am very happy to be back on this track, it is a very difficult year for everyone. I hope that next year the situation improves and we can find a large audience again in the stands of this track ”, said the Mallorcan after the duel.
His next rival will be the American Mackenzie McDonald, 236 in the world and 25 years old, who defeated Canadian Steven Diez, from the qualifying round, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 and 6-4.
Muguruza let a set slip but won in the first round of Roland Garros against Slovenian Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 4-6 and 8-6 in just over 3 hours of play.
The 2016 winner had more trouble getting through the first round and will now play for a place in the third against the winner of the duel between Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova and Czech Kristina Pliskova.
Also in Paris, Austrian Dominic Thiem , a finalist in the last two editions of Roland Garros, debuted his title of champion of the United States Open, his first Grand Slam, with a victory on the clay of Paris against the Croatian Marin Cilic, for 6-4, 6-3 and 6-3, in two hours and 5 minutes.
Under the covered roof of the central court, the tennis of the Chilean pupil Nicolás Massu was too much for Cilic, also a winner in New York, but six years ago and now, at 32 years old, in 40th place in the ranking.
The match seemed easy for Thiem, who aspires to make a leap in this tournament and finish at number 2 in the ranking, behind Serbian Novak Djokovic.
To do this, he has to lift the Musketeers' Cup, which would be good for him to unseat Nadal, who beat him in the last two finals and who is seeking his thirteenth title on Parisian clay.
“I am satisfied that I played this first game well in difficult weather conditions and after having had to make the transition to clay from the hard court. This is still my favorite tournament, ”said the Austrian on a track almost empty of public due to health restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
Thiem assured that he has a habit of playing in those climatic conditions that he usually finds in his country.
His next rival will be the American Jack Sock , from the qualifying round, who defeated his compatriot Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.