Rafael Nadal starts ‘different Roland Garros’ with solid win to extend French Open record to 94-2

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Rafael Nadal celebrates

Rafael Nadal began his quest for French Open title number 13 with a straight-sets victory over Egor Gerasimov.

The Spaniard, who extended his record on the Paris clay to 94-2, will draw level with Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slams if he triumphs at Roland Garros.

World number 83 Gerasimov, from Belarus, was not expected to cause Nadal too many problems, and so it proved.

Despite a booming serve from the 6ft 5in powerhouse which held up to some early scrutiny, Nadal wrapped up a routine 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win in a shade over two hours.

The tournament, moved to the autumn due to coronavirus, has a completely different feel to it, even for the most seasoned of campaigners.

Nadal said: “It’s a different Roland Garros. Of course we play in the same place. But the conditions are completely different than any other Roland Garros that we played.

“But the only thing I can do is just stay positive, do my job, try my best every single day.

“Even if the conditions are not the ideal ones, I will fight for my goals every single moment.”

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