Clay specialist Nadal starts his campaign for title number 12 with a straightforward win . 11-time Roland-Garros champion won 6-2, 6-1, 6-3, leaving Hanfmann “a little bit disappointed that I lost”.
Rafa after match said “All I want is to fight and compete. And in Roland-Garros, it’s the same. You can’t hope to have always the same results. Now I’m fighting for this title, which is very important. I have my own analysis of what happened, and this tournament is very important for me. It’s probably the most special and important in my tennis career.”
Hanfmann say “I tried to play some lefties in practice. I told them: ‘Maybe you can try to be Rafa a little bit.’ But nobody can be him. In the match, I tried to do what all the good players do against him and neutralise his second serve. But it’s quite hard.”
World number one Djokovic, who could hold all four Grand Slam titles for the second time in his career, beat Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-2 6-2.
“I know it’s two weeks, potentially, long and I just need to be in my lockdown mentally, and just do things that have worked for me in the past.”
The 15-time Grand Slam champion will face Swiss lucky loser Henri Laaksonen, ranked 104th in the world, in the second round.