Rafael Nadal sinks Jordan Thompson to launch bid for 14th French Open title | French Open 2022
Eleven days after Rafael Nadal limped out of the Italian Open with a bitter flare-up from his chronic foot injury, he was a picture of comfort on Monday afternoon as he returned to the tournament of his life with a victory calm opening. Nadal progressed to the second round without incident, beating Australian player Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.
“[It] is a good start, of course, straight sets. That’s it. I mean, I played well for a while. Then things I could do better and things I need to do better. But it’s a positive start, and it gives me a chance to have one more day in training tomorrow, and then another chance the day after tomorrow.
As he chases his 14th French Open title, upcoming fixtures for Nadal will be unusually urgent as he continues to try to rebuild his form after his fractured rib in March and the foot problems that have plagued him. further harmed his preparation for Paris. This is the first time that Nadal has played Roland-Garros without reaching a Masters 1000 final on clay.
“What is my level of confidence, how would things be if I didn’t get injured? I don’t know,” he said. “You never know. So I’m not a big fan of thinking about things that might happen if – ‘if’ is a dangerous word.
“[This] is the moment to accept the moment, to accept the situation and to have the necessary confidence to put all my efforts every day, to get better and better. Let’s see how far I can go.
Nadal will next face the French joker Corentin Mouetwho beat Stan Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 as the Swiss continues his comeback from injury.
Cameron Norrie took a positive first step in his French Open campaign by beating local wildcard Manuel Guinard 7-5, 6-2, 6-0 to reach the second round. The contest started off as a battle of attrition, with Norrie far from his peak as he lost an early break, but in the wet and heavy conditions he was consistent enough to see a grueling 72-minute set.
With the opening set under his belt, however, Norrie relaxed and as he played free until the end, the difference in quality between him and the 146th-ranked 26-year-old became evident. Norrie, seeded 10th in Paris, won his fourth ATP title in Lyon on Saturday and he had just one day to rest and adjust to Parisian conditions. After a day off, he will next face Australian Jason Kubler.
Dan Evans, the 29th seed, followed Norrie into the second round with a solid 7-6 (7-3) 6-4, 6-4 win over Francisco Cerúndolo. In the evening session, defending champion Novak Djokovic prevailed with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.