PARIS - Rafael Nadal began his quest for a record seventh French Open title in style, wearing a pink shirt and pink shoelaces.
He won easily, too.
The second-seeded Spaniard had little trouble against Simone Bolelli of Italy, winning 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier — the same stadium where Nadal has won six of his 10 Grand Slam titles.
French Open (May 27-June 10)
Rain or shine, clay or mud, Sunday or Monday, Rafael Nadal rules Roland Garros. The man they call "Rafa" won his record seventh French Open title on Monday, returning a day after getting rained out to put the finishing touches on a 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic, and deny Djokovic in his own quest for history — the "Novak Slam." Full story
He's not worried about the record just yet, though.
"We are in the second round," Nadal said. "I have enough work to do thinking about the next round, and not think about if Bjorn will be here or if I'm going to play the final. That's day-by-day and we'll see."
Against Bolelli, Nadal made only 18 unforced errors, fewer than half as many as his opponent. From 2-2 in the first set, Nadal won eight straight games to take control.
"I think I did what I had to do today," Nadal said. "I played probably with less stress or nerves than in other first rounds in the past."
And after a short blip in the second set, Nadal won eight of the last nine games.
"I tried to play aggressive with the forehand, with the serve, but today I miss a lot," Bolelli said. "He's strong. I mean, I didn't have a chance to make the match even."
Fourth-seeded Andy Murray also advanced, beating Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-1, 7-5, 6-0.
Rafael Nadal is currently ranked fourth in the world, but has had a dominant run lately as he has won seven of the last eight French Open titles. Mary Carrillo thinks we’re in store for a Nadal-Djokovic final.
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