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Nadal eases past Italy's Bolelli

Published:Wednesday | May 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Maria Sharapova of Russia returns in her first round match against Alexandra Cadantu of Romania at the French Open tennis tournament in Roland Garros, Paris yesterday. Sharapova won 6-0, 6-0. - AP


Rafael Nadal began his quest for a record seventh French Open title in style, wearing a pink shirt and pink shoelaces.

And he won easily, too.

The second-seeded Spaniard defeated Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier - the same stadium where Nadal has won six of his 10 Grand Slam titles.

Maria Sharapova won by a score that couldn't be better, a 6-0, 6-0 "double bagel" victory over Romania's Alexandra Cadantu. And Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova advanced by beating junior Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-2.

Nadal, who is tied with Bjorn Borg with six French Open titles, improved his record to 46-1 at Roland Garros. His only loss came in the fourth round in 2009, against Robin Soderling.

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. And after a short blip in the second set, he won eight of the last nine games.

Later Tuesday, Serena Williams was to face Virginie Razzano of France, while fourth-seeded Andy Murray was playing Tatsuma Ito of Japan.

Sharapova advances

Sharapova routed Cadantu on Court Suzanne Lenglen, needing just 48 minutes to advance to the second round. She finished the match with 18 winners to zero for Cadantu, but had to save three break points.

"No matter how good or bad they're playing, you still have to win that match," Sharapova said. "It's always about who takes their chances."

Sharapova, who lost in this year's Australian Open final, is looking to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the title at Roland Garros.

The Russian has won the other three Grand Slam titles, but she has never reached the final at Roland Garros. Last year, however, she equalled her best result by making the semi-finals.

"I feel like with every year I have improved and I enjoy it much more," Sharapova said. "I think I learn a lot more about the game and the point construction. I feel like I'm moving a lot better than I did years previously, which has helped me a lot in the recovery process within the point."

She moved well enough against Cadantu, a 22-year-old making her French Open debut.

"For me, to have that big crowd, it was a lot," Cadantu said after playing on the second-biggest stadium at Roland Garros. "I enjoyed it a lot."

Youngest player

Kvitova lost the opening game in her match against the 16-year-old Barty, but then won six straight in the first set and again raced through the second set despite being broken once.

"She has a big serve with kicks and good forehand," Kvitova said of the Australian wild card. "She has very good touch."

The left-handed Czech won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year, and then won the WTA Championships. Although she has yet to win a title in 2012, she is seeded fourth and is expected to make it deep into the tournament.

Barty is the youngest player in the draw at the French Open, one of only eight teenagers entered.

"It was tough out there today," Barty said. "I didn't play my best tennis, but she didn't allow me to. I was out there giving it my all, but unfortunately just didn't come out on top today."

The oldest player in the draw, 41-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, lost to 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-3, 6-1.

No. 6 David Ferrer of Spain and No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia advanced on the men's side.