Roland Garros is a place where Rafa Nadal can presumably hang his hat at the end of every May----he’s only ever lost one match in Paris, and has won 53 matches. He’ll go down as the best of all-time on clay, and in Monday’s first round action he looked disturbingly mortal. A German named Daniel Brands made a solid effort of taking down one of tennis’ giants, but fell short, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3.
Rafa has looked like his former self so far in the spring of this year after taking a seven-month hiatus to rehab his knee. Since coming back, Nadal has won 32 of his 34 matches on clay and six titles. If Rafa can outlast the likes of Djokovic and Federer he would become the first man to ever win eight championships at a single slam event.