French Open: Nadal cruises to second round

Paris: Nadal, looking to equal Roger Federer’s record 20 Grand Slam singles titles began his quest with a 6-4 6-4 6-2 first-round win against Egor Gerasimov.

Austria’s Dominic Thiem showed no sign of a hangover from his US Open triumph as he began his Roland Garros campaign with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over Marin Cilic here on Monday.

Italian qualifier Lorenzo Giustino outlasted France’s Corentin Moutet 0-6 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 18-16 in the second longest match in French Open history at six hours and five minutes.

World No.157 Giustino secured his first Grand Slam main draw and tour-level win after a final set lasting 180 minutes in a match held over from Sunday.

Moutet won more points than Giustino — 242 to 217 — but the 29-year-old journeyman emerged the victor in a contest that fell 28 minutes short of the tournament’s record marathon tie between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement in 2004.

Giustino will advance to play 12th seed Diego Schwartzman for a place in the third round. He is guaranteed at least 84,000 euros ($97,965) in prize money — more than he made all of last year and doubling his earnings in 2020.

In the end, well, the most aggressive, the guy who tried to win won the match, said Giustino, adding he felt perfect despite the gruelling workout.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams, playing at the French Open for the 18th time, dropped serve twice as Ahn moved 5-4 ahead in the opener in a rematch of their first-round encounter at Flushing Meadows.

But the sixth seed forced a tie-break that she sealed with an ace after a 74-minute slog before charging to an ultimately comfortable victory.