2022 in Review: Rafael Nadal starts his Roland Garros campaign


Rafael Nadal kicked off his 18th Roland Garros campaign with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jordan Thompson. Rafa needed two hours and two minutes to dismiss the Aussie on Court Philippe-Chatrier and earn the 106th Roland Garros triumph from 109 matches! Nadal dropped only five points behind the second serve and got broken once from two chances offered to his rival. Rafa turned 54% of the return points into seven breaks from 11 opportunities, controlling the scoreboard and sailing toward the second round. Nadal lost five points behind the initial shot in the opener, saved a break point in his only loose service game and delivered two breaks to control the scoreboard. Thompson held at 15 with a service winner in the encounter’s opening game, and Nadal responded in the same style in game two for 1-1. Rafa grabbed a break in the third game with a backhand drive-volley winner for an early advantage.

Rafael Nadal reached the second round at Roland Garros for the 18th time.

The Spaniard hammered a forehand down the line winner in game four for a hold at love and a 3-1 lead. Rafa forced Jordan’s error in the fifth game to deliver his second break and move further in front. Nadal fended off a break point with a drop shot winner and forced Thompson’s mistake to wrap up the game and move 5-1 ahead. A 13-time champion fired an ace for a hold at love in game eight and 6-2 in 37 minutes. Rafa lost his serve once in the second set and erased that deficit with three breaks on his tally. Jordan netted a backhand in the first game to suffer a break and fall further behind. Rafa fired a forehand down the line winner in game five for a break at love and a 4-1 advantage after 64 minutes. Thompson pulled one break in game six to reduce the deficit before losing four straight points in game seven to hand a break to Nadal.

The Spaniard held at love with a service winner in game eight for a 6-2, 6-2 advantage in under 80 minutes. From 2-1 down in the third set, Rafa rattled off five straight games and sealed the deal after an extended rally at 5-2 for a place in the second round. The Spaniard fired a forehand down the line winner in the third set’s fourth game for 2-2. He grabbed a break with a smash winner at the net in game five and held at 30 in the next one for 4-2. Thompson netted a forehand in the seventh game to fall 5-2 behind, allowing Nadal to serve for the triumph. Rafa clinched the eighth game at 30 to emerge at the top and move into the second round. 

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