Paris: He may be carrying a little more around the middle than in his Roland Garros pomp, but the star appeal of Andre Agassi was undeniable at the French Open here Wednesday as his new charge Novak Djokovic romped to a second-round win.
An emotional Nadal withdrew from the French Open a year ago ahead of his third-round match due to a wrist injury and although he is now pain-free, the tournament favourite is aware that his exploits could catch up with him.
World number two Djokovic will face Diego Schwartzman in the third round after the Argentine defeated Italian Stefano Napolitano in straight-sets earlier on Wednesday.
"I think I played a good match", the Spaniard offered, nearly as a question, when asked about his form in thrashing Robin Haase 6-1 6-4 6-3.
Fourth seed Garbine Muguruza came back from a set down to claim a 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-2 victory over Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. He played the first set like he wanted play and lost 6-1. Olivo converted the next one with a forehand crosscourt victor to prevail 6-4.
"I was out of my reach and it was my last match in Philippe Chatrier". It's the French Open.
The 9-time French Open winning Spaniard is on course to win his 10th title this time and he is the hot favourite in the tournament.
In another men's singles clash, Austria's Dominic Thiem also booked his place in the third round of the second major of the season after posting a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Simone Bolelli of Italy.
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It's another to be a safe bet to obliterate the defending champs who lost no key pieces from last season's Finals. They closed out the regular season strong by winning 12 of the last 14 games .
American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands halted Petra Kvitova's comeback, defeating the popular Czech 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) in her first tournament since a horrifying knife attack in December. It's obvious that I can not miss the clay-court tournaments.
The 26-year-old Belgian suffered a blip in the third set before recovering with 11 winners in the fourth to claim the win in 2 hours and 33 minutes. "Now I need to focus on the rest".
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 12th seed, resumed his first-round match against Renzo Olivo of Agentinia.
Tsonga had never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 91 at a Grand Slam.
There would be few in the Roland Garros crowds who would disagree with that analysis - least of all Dutchman Haase, who appeared shell-shocked at the end.
"In the second say he thought about it, and started doing things differently". I am happy that he will be involved in the [Rafael Nadal tennis] academy more than ever, that's good for kids, and that's all good for the academy.
If they do meet to decide who is strongest on the opposite side of the draw to Andy Murray, who plays Martin Klizan on Thursday, it looks likely they will leave a trail of bruised spirits behind them.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic is also on the bill, facing Joao Sousa on Court Suzanne Lenglen.