French Open 2022: Nadal cruises past, Osaka, Krejcikova crash out
- Rafael Nadal began his bid for a 14th French Open title with a straight-sets victory against Jordan Thompson
- Defending champion Barbora Krejcikova was knocked out in the first round
- Former world number one Naomi Osaka also crashed out
Rafael Nadal began his bid for a 14th French Open title with a straight-sets victory against Jordan Thompson, while former world number one Naomi Osaka and defending champion Barbora Krejcikova were knocked out in the first round on Monday.
Nadal, who will face Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, defeated Australia's Thompson 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to increase his Roland Garros record to 106 victories and three losses since his title-winning debut in 2005.
"I'm very happy with the victory today. I'm happy to get through in three sets," stated Nadal, who was seeded fifth. "It's a first round, a positive match for me. Straight sets but with significant room for improvement."
The Spaniard, who downplayed concerns about the recurrence of a foot issue that bothered him in Rome last week, will face Corentin Moutet in round two after the French wildcard overcame 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.
Osaka, the unseeded four-time Grand Slam champion, was defeated earlier in the day 7-5, 6-4 by Amanda Anisimova – the same woman who stopped Osaka's championship defence at the Australian Open this year.
On her return to Roland Garros, Osaka served eight double faults and made 29 unforced mistakes after withdrawing in 2021 after refusing to honour mandated media duties before revealing she was suffering from depression.
"I thought I tried really hard, and I just feel like it was a bit unfortunate because I wasn't able to play as many matches leading into this tournament," said Osaka.
27th seed Anisimova reached the semi-finals three years ago in Paris.
"It's tough to see Naomi Osaka in the first round so I knew it wouldn't be easy," the American said.
"I knew I had to play my best tennis and the conditions were not easy."
As rain delayed play on the outside courts for two hours, Krejcikova followed Osaka through the exit door, losing 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to 19-year-old Frenchwoman Diane Parry in her first match since suffering an injury in February.
The Czech world number two had yet to play on clay this season due to an elbow injury.
"I just think I just collapsed physically, and, I mean, it was tough because I didn't play the matches," Krejcikova, who is expected to fall out of the top 10, said.
Iga Swiatek, the women's title favourite, extended her winning streak to 29 matches by defeating Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-0 in 54 minutes.
Swiatek, 20, who took over as world number one after Ashleigh Barty's surprise retirement, has won her previous five tournaments and is attempting a second French Open in three years.
"Today was a pretty good match," Swiatek said. "I love playing here even though the last couple of days it's been raining and pretty dark."
Swiatek has been unbeaten since February and holds the WTA tour's best winning streak since Serena Williams won 34 matches in a row in 2013.
"I'm pretty sure that it can end, but I just want to keep going. I'm sure someday my streak will stop,” she added.
Djokovic begins his title defence against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the first of ten night sessions, which were introduced at Roland Garros last year when a flu curfew forced most late matches to be played in front of empty spectators.
The world number one is playing in his first Grand Slam match since his high-profile exile from Australia. He won his first championship of the year earlier this month at the Italian Open.
"I feel I am always in that contention to fight for any Grand Slam trophy," said Djokovic.
The Serb's most recent major match was a loss to Daniil Medvedev in last year's US Open final, which deprived him of a Grand Slam.