PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal wins French Open opener against Benoit Paire

(AP) – Rafael Nadal’s search for an unprecedented 10th title at the French Open got off to a winning start as he beat Benoit Paire of France in straight sets.

The fourth-seeded Rafa played some brilliant shots but had to survive a minor scare in the second set on his way to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

Paire, who is ranked 45th, dropped his serve at the beginning of the second but broke twice in quick succession to take a 3-1 lead.

But Rafa, who saved three more break points on his next service game, broke back twice and went on to take the set. The Spaniard took the final set in 31 minutes.

After the match, Rafa said:

The most important thing is to win. If it’s in three, it’s better. I’m sorry for Benoit, he’s dangerous, talented. He can change the rhythm of the point. Today I started strong, he had more mistakes than usual off the forehand. He had a try for 5-3 in the second set, I played a good point. From there it was difficult. (via Roland Garros)

In the second round Rafa will play Dutchman Robin Haase, who was a straight sets winner over the Australian Alex De Minaur in his opening match.

Source: AP

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12 thoughts on “PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal wins French Open opener against Benoit Paire

  1. jas_uk

    Hello, I’m new here. Hola! This year I have decided to go and see some ATP matches live and it tuned out that my first was at Roland Garros and it was Rafa… they say you always remember your first 😉 I had to swap my ticket last night after finding out the schedule, to see my favourite was so amazing, to watch his zig-zag run to the baseline to warm up and everything after!

    Rafa’s own alaysis of his serve is correct, – a distinct but temporary wobble, it might have been been trouble in a situation where one break is fatal, but given the amount of times Rafa broke Benoit’s serve, not a problem today, and having recognised it, he can work on it..Despite that, Rafa mostly dominated the match, some really good play from Benoit, but not as conistently. I was sitting next to some poople who were not particulary fans of either player, and there were many gasps and applause at Rafa’s winners. Also a lot of local support for Benoit during the match, but everyone was on their feet to pay respect to Rafa’s win. The spectators at RG seem to be true fans of tennis and simply enjoy the best of the sport (A Zverev was booed today for his racket abuse 😦 ).

    It was lovely and not at all unexpected of Rafael to go over ask if Benoit was OK when he ended up on his back at the net. Rafa is a good, caring person, one of many reasons why I am a fan.

    I bought some magazines on my second and last day at RG, and I had the oportunity to choose a free badge – there were all the players.. I suddenly forgot how to reply in French, but said instinctively in English, ’definitely Rafa’! The badge says, ‘Allez Rafa” = vamos!

    Like

  2. Margo

    Rafa has a winning 5-0 record over Haas, all on hard courts. Even though Haas has won against Berdych, Istomin, and Schwartz in 2017, Rafa should get the job done in 3 sets.

    RAFA ROCKS

    Like

  3. judy k allen

    What a great start. Look good . But a long way to go. Keep up the great work. Mr. King of clay thank you tennis channel.

    Like

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