Rafael Nadal: 'It's a good start, but I have to improve some elements'

Tennis - Nadal defeated Jordan Thompson in straight sets in the Roland Garros opening round

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal: 'It's a good start, but I have to improve some elements'

Rafael Nadal is through to the second round at his beloved Roland Garros. Rafa kicked off his 18th Parisian campaign with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jordan Thompson in two hours and two minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Nadal controlled the pace on serve and return and delivered his 106th Roland Garros win from 109 encounters. The Spaniard was pleased with his performance, sealing the deal in straight sets and hoping to improve some aspects of his game ahead of the second-round clash.

Nadal dropped five points behind the second serve and got broken once. He claimed 54% of the return points and turned them into seven breaks from 11 opportunities, enough to control the scoreboard and sail over the top. Thompson held at 15 with a service winner in the encounter's opening game, and Nadal followed that in game two for 1-1.

Rafa grabbed a break in the third game with a backhand drive-volley winner and hammered a forehand down the line winner for a hold at love and a 3-1 lead. Rafa forced Jordan's error in the fifth game to grab another break and move further in front.

Nadal fended off a break chance with a drop shot winner in game six to open a 5-1 gap. The 13-time champion fired an ace for a hold at love in game eight and 6-2 in 37 minutes.

Rafael Nadal is through to the second round at Roland Garros.

Jordan netted a backhand in the second set's first game to suffer a break and push Rafa ahead.

Nadal served well and fired a forehand down the line winner in game five for a break at love and a 4-1 advantage after 64 minutes. Thompson pulled one break in game six to reduce the deficit before losing four straight points in the next one to hand a break to Nadal.

The Spaniard held at love with a service winner in game eight for a 6-2, 6-2 advantage in under 80 minutes. From 2-1 down in the third set, Rafa rattled off five straight games and sealed the deal after an extended rally at 5-2 for a place in the second round.

"I made a good start and went through in straight sets. I played well in the more significant part of the match, but there are some things I should do better in the rest of the tournament. It's a good start, and I will use the following day to practice ahead of my second-round encounter," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal Jordan Thompson Roland Garros