PARIS: Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova eased through to the second round of the French Open here on Tuesday.
Nadal, bidding for a record seventh men’s crown, endured no such problems as the Spaniard, beaten only once in his entire career at the venue, as he attempts to go one better than Bjorn Borg’s six titles, overcame a second-set blip to thrash Italian journeyman Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Despite the wide margin of his win Nadal, whose record in Paris is now 46-1, insisted he had had to battle some early butterflies.
Despite dropping his service once midway through the second set Nadal won comfortably in 1hr 58min to book a meeting with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, who whipped Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-2, 6-1, 6-2.
Also moving through among the men was British fourth seed Andy Murray, who crushed Japan’s Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 7-5, 6-0.
Likewise into the hat was Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer, who dismissed Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
Among the women, Sharapova was one of three former grand slam champions to advance, and she had the added bonus of seeing potential last eight opponent Serena crash out.
Sharapova humiliated Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu 6-0, 6-0 in just 48 minutes as the Russian second seed, seeking to complete her collection of majors, cruised towards a meeting with Japan’s Ayumi Morita, who put out Polona Hercog of Slovenia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Meanwhile, British fourth seed Andy Murray reached the French Open second round on Tuesday with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-0 win over Japan’s world number 68 Tatsuma Ito.