The world No 3 was the biggest winner on another day of drama in Paris – he wrapped up a 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory and the details are here.
Fourth seed Tomas Berdych started his challenge for the French Open title with a comfortable win over Yoshihito Nishioka.
The Czech was a class above the Japanese qualifier and wrapped up a 6-0 7-5 6-3 victory in the first round of the Paris tournament.
After breezing through the opening set in under half an hour, Berdych did encounter more resistance in the second, with Nishioka holding serve and even opening up a break point opportunity.
But Berdych recovered to hold his serve and broke the teenager again to forge a 2-0 lead in the match.
Nishioka saved three break points at the start of the third set, although he was only delaying the inevitable as Berdych converted the first of two match points in the ninth game.
“There are still a lot of places to improve which is good,” said Berdych, who will face veteran compatriot Radek Stepanek in the next round.??”It is always good to have the first one down and now I’ll just keep focusing on my next opponent.”??
Elsewhere, Feliciano Lopez, the 11th seed, tumbled out of the tournament after a straight sets loss to Teymuraz Gabashvili.
The Spaniard paid the price for a sluggish start against the world No 74, slipping to a 6-3 7-6 6-3 defeat.
Home favourite on the women’s circuit, Alize Cornet, aiming for her nation’s first French Open title since Mary Pierce in 2000, beat Roberta Vinci??4-6 6-4 6-1.
Grand Slam of the Rising Sun
This is the first time in 48 years that five Japanese players have featured in the main singles draw at a major, but only Kei Nishikori has made it past the first round.
Followin Nishioka’s loss to Berdych and Go Soeda’s elimination on day one, his compatriots also tasted defeat. Taro Daniel was sent packing by Fernando Verdasco.??Tatsuma Ito was then blizted 6-3 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour and a half by Fabio Fognini who stole the show with a flowery, colourful headband as well as his winning performance.??
Fognini claimed his motivation was a promise from his sponsors regarding his noticeable headgear and all-black strip.
“They told me that if I won, I could switch, because we also have a white outfit,” Fognini said.
Did you know?
There are 14 Frenchmen in the men???s main draw, the fewest Frenchmen to start in the men???s main draw at Roland Garros since 1999, when there were also 14. It doesn’t help that they’re eliminating each other – Gael Monfils beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2 6-7 6-1 7-5!
Frances Tiafoe became??the first 17-year-old American man to compete at a Grand Slam since Michael Chang’s 1989 French Open title. But Tiafoe’s historic appearance was restricted to an hour and 40 minutes as Martin Klizan inflicted a????6-2 6-1 6-4 defeat.
“It was great,” Tiafoe said. “I had a blast. I didn’t play my best today. Hopefully I can play again in the main draw next year.”
Other young guns, Borna Coric and??Thanasi Kokkinakis, were victorious over Sam Querrey and??Nikoloz Basilashvili, respectively.
Nick Krygios, now 20, showed some teenage angst in a bad-tempered win over??Denis Istomin – but at the other end of the age scale, 36-year-old Radek??Stepanek became the oldest man to win a match at Roland Garros since 38-year-old Jimmy Connors in 1991 when he saw offIvan Dodig??
Underarm serve – Twice!
Virginie Razzano??served underarm not once, but twice, the second of which was on match point when she double faulted to the??astonishment of the crowd bringing back bizarre memories of Michael Chang’s serve in the 1989 Roland Garros tournament.
Worried by exacerbating a stomach strain, Razzano served underhand midway through the match against Paraguay qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg, losing the point in the process.
Razzano then spooned her effort at match point causing a double fault against Paraguayan qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg. Luckily, Razzano saved her blushes by confirming victory soon after to??mark her 17th Roland Garros in style.
“I’m sorry, I spooned the ball over. That’s the baggage that I carry,” she said.