Nadal powers past Gerasimov to begin French Open charge

Rafael Nadal was too strong for Egor Gerasimov as he won their first-round clash at the 2020 French Open with consummate ease.

The second seed, who has been a vocal critic of the balls and the conditions at the rescheduled autumnal Roland Garros, had no problems coming through the contest in two hours and five minutes.

Gerasimov did well to challenge Nadal from the back of the court and was far from thrashed, but ultimately the Spaniard's class shone through and he sealed his progression through to the second round.

There were around 200 fans inside Court Philippe Chatrier watching the Spaniard, who is looking to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles.

The roof stayed open throughout the evening match as Nadal converted all five of his break points in clinical fashion to ensure he always had the edge.

Nadal broke in the fifth game as he grabbed the opening set in efficient fashion, and ruthlessly pounced again in the third game of the second to further assert his advantage.

Gerasimov was really struggling physically by the third set, and the physiotherapist taped the Belarusian's ankle in a short delay before Nadal secured the decisive break.

Next up for the world number two will be a second-round match against American Mackenzie McDonald.

Nadal is on course for what would be an intriguing semi-final clash with US Open champion Dominic Thiem in Paris, with world number one Novak Djokovic potentially awaiting the winner in the final.

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