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Nadal, Djokovic off to winning starts

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

PARIS - Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the top two title favourites in the French Open have hit the clay running as they posted quick wins to duck the day's rain delays.

But there was a shock for Stan Wawrinka as the third seed was upset 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0 by Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his opener.

Wawrinka had won the Australian Open title and was bidding to become the first man since Jim Courier in 1992 to lift the Melbourne-Paris title double. He had been tipped as an outside title threat at Roland Garros.

Wawrinka, whose fragile confidence took time to recover after his Melbourne success, looked a shadow of himself on the clay, ending with 62 unforced errors.

He won on clay last month in Monte Carlo but failed to impress in Madrid and Rome with early losses and some back pain.

Top seed Nadal, bidding for more history after winning the event in eight of the last nine years, ignored his "exile" to the Lenglen court, where he pounded American qualifier Robby Ginepri 6-0 6-3 6-0 as evening sun came out after intermittent drizzle on Monday.

"I finished the match playing not that good, but it was a solid start. I'm happy for that," said Nadal, who said it was tough to maintain focus during the rain interruptions.

"I really thought I would not play today during the day, so it makes the mentality drop from 100 per cent. The tension is there, and the motivation to play here always is very high."

Djokovic, who beat Nadal for the Rome title as he won a fourth straight match against the Spaniard, wasted little effort as he crushed Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1 6-2 6-4 on the showcase Chatrier venues to power ahead at the only grand slam that he has not won.

"I played quite solid for most of the match, but the end was not so nice I dropped serve twice,"

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