Rafael Nadal breezed into the second round of the French Open with a straight-sets win over Egor Gerasimov at Roland Garros.
Seeking a remarkable 13th title at the clay-court grand slam, Nadal had suggested the conditions and heavier balls he described as “slow and dangerous” could impact his hopes.
He came into Monday’s meeting with the world number 83 having only played one tournament since February due to the coronavirus pandemic, losing to Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals in Rome.
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Neither the balls nor any Nadal rust could prevent him from claiming a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory, though, Gerasimov’s admirable resistance fading after he turned his ankle in the third set.
The first break came Nadal’s way courtesy of a deft drop shot and that was enough to claim the first set, which he wrapped up with