Nadal, Djokovic sail on, Bouchard ousted at Roland Garros
Updated: 2015-05-27 10:12
PARIS - A highly expected quarterfinal encounter between defending champion Rafael Nadal and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has came one step closer to be realized as the duo respectively made easy through to the second round at Roland Garros on Tuesday.
|Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the first round. [Photo/Agencies]|
Nadal, bidding for a record 10th triumph at the French Open in 11 years, breezed past French youngster Quentin Halys 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round on the centeral court Philippe Chatrier.
The former world No. 1, seeded a humble sixth this year, needed only one hour and 50 minutes to beat the 18-year-old wild card entry, ranked 296th in the world.
"Quentin is the future. He is trying to hit winners from everywhere. That is the way tennis is going now," said Nadal on the court after the match.
The 14-time major winner wore a pair of tennis shoes with the number "9" stitched into the heels to mark his almost non-stop title collecting campaign since 2005. The only year that he failed to win at Rolland Garros was 2009 when he's bothered by injury.
"I'm here to play well and compete. That's my mentality and the goal is always the same," Nadal told a post-match press conference, amid which a group of kids showed a poster through the window saying that "the clay has only one king, and that's not Djoko. Vamos, Rafa."
And the Spaniard had his thumbs up to the window after being reminded by a journalist to look at it.
Top seed Djokovic, who's collected all other three Grand Slam titles but that of the French Open, overcame a second set scare to beat Finland's veteran Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 7-5, 6-2.
The 28-year-old Serb's next opponent will be Gilles Muller of Luxembourg or Italian Paolo Lorenzi who were level at two sets apiece when it's too dark and the umpire had to call up an overnight suspension.