Rafa Nadal begins his quest for a 14th French Open title with a First Round clash against Jordan Thompson at…
Rafa Nadal begins his quest for a 14th French Open title with a First Round clash against Jordan Thompson at Roland Garros on Monday.
Nadal etched his name into the tennis record books by securing a 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year to overtake rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the top of the all-time list.
In doing so, the Spaniard also became only the second man in the Open Era, after Djokovic, to complete the double career Grand Slam.
He is now ranked world number five and has since gone on to win the Mexican Open and reach the final at Indian Wells – where he was denied by Taylor Fritz.
Having withdrawn from the next three tournaments, Nadal suffered a Quarter-Final defeat at the Madrid Open to emerging compatriot Carlos Alcaraz – who went on to lift the title on home soil.
A Third Round loss followed at the Italian Open, but Rafa returns to Roland Garros in fine fettle as he bids to extend his incredible dominance of the clay court major.
Nadal has claimed a record 13 French Open titles, with his first coming back in 2005, and has won four of the last five stagings.
Semi-finalist here a year ago, Nadal begins his 18th French Open campaign with a clash against 28-year-old Australian Thompson – the world 78 whose best run in a Grand Slam saw him reach the Fourth Round of the 2020 US Open.
Thompson has suffered successive First Round exits at Roland Garros and looks to have his work cut out if he is to avoid an unwanted hat-trick.
Nadal won their only previous meeting 6-1, 7-6 in the Last 16 of the ATP Masters in Paris two years ago and the 35-year-old has never lost before the Third Round stage of this event.
Either three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka or home favourite Corentin Moutet will await the winner in the Second Round later in the week.
Nadal v Thompson is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 4pm BST.
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