- Like Old Times For Nadal At Roland Garros | ATP World Tour
The nine-time champion never faced a break point and breezed past Australian Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in an hour and 20 minutes to move into the second round. The Spaniard lost only five points on his serve (40/45), landed 84 per cent of his first serves and hit 25 winners to three unforced errors.
“It’s obvious that it was a good start for me. The most important thing that I had to do today, I did well, which was return. I played without making many mistakes,” Nadal said.
- Nadal burns past Groth in bravura display | Roland Garros
His domination was such that that in the first set he produced a streak of 11 winning points in a row, and in the second set another of 14 successive points. He produced love-hold after love-hold, winning almost 90 per cent of points on his first serve.
“It’s great to play here in France and in Roland Garros. I feel always the support of the crowd here…Because is the most important place in my career, so to feel the support of the people here is something very special for me,” Nadal said after the match. “I’m not tired. Life is great. Everything is well. I played all the clay court season whether it’s a long match or a short match. It doesn’t change anything for the future. Today I won, but it doesn’t mean that I will win the next match.”
The strength of Groth’s game is supposed to be his blistering serve, but Nadal handled even that — then literally laughed when he showed up in the postmatch interview room and reporters ran out of questions for him within minutes because his dominance was that complete.
“Not much work today,” Nadal joked, then directed the press officer to start taking questions in Spanish.
- “Winning against yourself: that’s the sport” | The Yellow Ball Corner
Q. Was it especially disappointing to see Roselyne Bachelot’s accusations against you, because it’s coming from France where you’ve won the French Open nine times?
RN: But it’s not from France ! In my opinion, there are some people in France who have said some things, but it’s not from France. Only a few people. I don’t put everything in the same way. I love France. I feel the love of the people in France, I feel very comfortable there. It’s possibly the most important country of my career. So it’s not because some people say some stupid things that I won’t feel the same about a country I really love so much. I spent a l lot of time in Paris in my life, I know the city very well and I feel a little bit like home there. What Bachelot said: now we have to wait about the process, how it goes. I’m 100% confident in justice in France.
Nadal has won over 91% of his career clay court matches—the highest winning percentage in the Open Era. His closest active competitors, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, are fifth and 14th on the Open Era list respectively. Djokovic might be the current top ranked player but Nadal is still the best ever on clay.
- Highlights from Rafael Nadal’s straight sets win over Sam Gorth
- Hot Shot: Rafael Nadal hits perfect tweener winner against Sam Groth at French Open
- Getting Ready For Roland Garros | ATP World Tour
- Emirates ATP Rankings 24 May 2016 | ATP World Tour
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