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Nadal brushes aside France's Paire in opener

Last updated on: May 29, 2017 19:50 IST

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal serves during his first round match. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal smoothly negotiated the potential stumbling block presented by Frenchman Benoit Paire on Monday, launching his bid for a 10th French Open trophy with a largely routine 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 win.

The heavy favourite for the title looked in imperious form as he steamed through the first set in under half an hour.

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal watches Benoit Paire fall into the net. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Paire, described prior to their encounter on Court Suzanne Lenglen as a dangerous opponent by Nadal, played with more freedom in a closer second set as the Spaniard lost his edge. Trading baseline rallies, they exchanged breaks to leave the Frenchman leading 4-3.

But Nadal then pulled clear and, with Paire periodically clutching his stomach after a medical time out, the Spaniard took nine of the last 10 games to close out the match in just under two hours.

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