Normalcy resumed on Philippe Chatrier on Monday as Rafael Nadal cruised to the second round of the 2022 French Open with a dominating 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over Australian Jordan Thompson. There were a lot of concerns pertaining to his foot injury that had resurfaced less than a fortnight ago in Italy, but Nadal brushed aside the talk with an impressive show which has now helped him script a spectacular Grand Slam record, surpassing Roger Federer.
The first-round victory at Stade Roland Garros on Monday was his 106th Grand Slam win in French Open, which now places him ahead of Federer for the most wins at a single major. The Swiss maestro stands second in the all-time list with 105 wins in Wimbledon while the legendary Jimmy Connors stands third with 98 wins at the US Open.
What makes Nadal’s French Open record more dominating in Open Era is his win-loss record which now stands 106-3. The third defeat had come last year at the same stadium against Novak Djokovic in the semis. The two others came in 2009 fourth round against Robin Soderling and 2015 in the quarterfinal against Djokovic.
Nadal, who also bagged his 299th win at Grand Slams, will now aim to join Federer in the elusive 300-plus club alongside Djokovic when he takes on French wild card Corentin Moutet in the second round. Moutet defeated 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka earlier in the same evening.
“I’m very happy with the victory today. I’m happy to get through in three sets. It’s incredible for me to play here again on Chatrier,” said Nadal, seeded fifth.
“It’s a first round, a positive match for me. Straight sets but with significant room for improvement.”
In all, Nadal registered 27 winners as against Thompson’s 14 which showed his dominance at the baseline, but the Spaniard was effective at the nets as well, winning 75 per cent (12 out of 16) of the points.