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Tennis

Nadal and Djokovic fire early warnings at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic is seeking a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title.
Novak Djokovic is seeking a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title. RFI/Pierre René-Worms

The top two men’s seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal cruised into the second round of the French Open on Monday with unruffled straight sets victories. Nadal, who is seeking a record 12th title at Roland Garros, advanced with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 win over the German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.

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Djokovic was equally swift. He dispatcherd Hubert Hurkacz from Poland 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

"It's always amazing to play here in Paris," said Nadal. “It's been an important place in my career. I played a good tournament in Rome which was very important for my confidence.”

In Rome, Nadal beat Djokovic in the final to claim the Italian Open for the ninth time. The Serb’s return to action since that three set defeat was impressive. "I'm happy with my game,” he said. “I was very solid.”

Elsewhere in the men’s draw, the 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka, seeded 26th, advanced by seeing off Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia in four sets. And the partisans were in good spirits.

Four of the local heroes moved into the second round. Pierre-Hugues Herbert came from two sets down to eliminate the 12th seed Daniil Medvedev. Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon also progressed.

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