Nishikori, Zverev and Dimitrov safely through on day one

Kei Nishikori

The opening day of Roland Garros 2018 saw big guns Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Kei Nishikori all make winning starts.

Japan’s Nishikori overcame French youngster Maxime Janvier to make sure of his place in the second round.

The 19th seed did not have it all his own way against his plucky 21-year-old opponent, but still managed to do the job in straight sets, 7-6 (7-0), 6-4, 6-3 after two hours and 22 minutes.

Since making his return from a wrist injury earlier this year, Nishikori has made a steady rise up the rankings after an impressive clay-court season, which included making it to the final in Monte Carlo, where he lost to Rafa Nadal.

Next up for the 28-year-old is the winner of the match between Benoit Paire and Roberto Carballes Baena.

Elsewhere, second seed Alexander Zverev had a much easier time of it against unseed Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, racing to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 victory in just 71 minutes.

The young German, who is still chasing his maiden Grand Slam win, did not face a single break point throughout the match, and moves on to face either Jiri Vesely or Dusan Lajovic.

Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov was also in action on the opening day in Paris, taking on Egypt’s Mohamed Safwat – a late replacement for Viktor Troicki, who withdrew from the tournament shortly before the start of the match.

Safwat appeared to become more competitive as the match progressed, but Dimitrov was able to hold on for a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) victory to set up a second-round clash with American Jared Donaldson.

The biggest escape act of the day belonged to ninth seed David Goffin.

The Belgian looked to be heading for an early exit after losing the first two sets against Robin Haase before mounting an impressive comeback.

From looking down and out, Goffin ended the match in total control as he wrapped up a 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 victory in just under three hours.

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