Kick-starting his French Open title defense, No. 7 Rafael Nadal made quick work of Quentin Halys for a 6-3 6-3 6-4 first-round victory Tuesday at Philippe-Charrier Court. The Spaniard needed one hour and 49 minutes to dispatch the French wild card, dominating with this first serve and at the net.
The nine-time Roland Garros champion won 14 of his 16 approaches to the net, and forced the 18-year-old Halys into 52 unforced errors.
Unfortunately for Halys his first match in a major tournament came against a player who’s lost once in the French for a 67-1 career mark.
There were some bright spots for Halys, who used his big serve to pick up five aces, but the far more seasoned Nadal pulled away by taking five of nine break points.
“I played well, when I had the chance to play I played well,” Nadal said after the match. “Seriously he played some very good serves. When you play against a player like him and he tries to hit the winner almost every ball then you are sometimes in his hands.
“When I had the chance to hit two balls in normal positions I think I touched the ball well. But he’s a good player.”
Nadal moves on to face compatriot Nicolas Almagro in the second round. Almagro needed four sets to edge out Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 2-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6). Nadal is 12-1 all-time against Almagro.
Almagro, 29, defeated Nadal on the Barcelona clay last year, but Nadal’s hasn’t lost a set in their two matches since.
The highlights of Nadal and Halys are below.