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Rafael Nadal looks to capture his 10th title at Roland Garros.

Nadal Starts Quest For Roland Garros History

Spaniard will face Haase next

Rafael Nadal began his quest for the Paris edition of “La Décima” with relative ease on Monday at Roland Garros, dismissing Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in just under two hours.

For me, it's important to serve a little bit better than what I did today... I feel that some moments I was not serving that well. The rest of the things I am happy with,” Nadal said.

The nine-time Roland Garros champion is again looking to make history during this European clay-court swing as he seeks a record 10th Roland Garros title. No man or woman has won a Grand Slam event 10 times in the Open Era (since April 1968).

Most titles at the same Grand Slam tournament (men and women)

Player

Grand Slam

Titles

Years

Margaret Court

Australian Open*

11

1960-66, 1969-71, 1973

Martina Navratilova

Wimbledon

9

1978-79, 1982-87, 1990

Rafael Nadal

Roland Garros

9

2005-08, 2010-2014

*Known as Australian Championships before 1969

The 30-year-old Nadal has already won his 10th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, his 10th Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and his fifth Mutua Madrid Open during the past two months. With his win on Monday, he improves to 18-1 during this year's clay-court swing and 73-2 lifetime at Roland Garros.

Nadal's clay-court losses by season, *also won Roland Garros

2002

1

2010*

0

2003

6

2011*

2

2004

3

2012*

1

2005*

2

2013*

2

2006*

0

2014*

3

2007*

1

2015

6

2008*

1

2016

4

2009

2

2017

1

The Mallorca native broke Paire eight times and was challenged by the World No. 45 only in the second set, when Paire twice broke Nadal and led 3-1. But Nadal marched back into the set, breaking in the fifth game, then at 3-4, he erased two break points and held during a nine-point game to level the second-set scoreline at 4-4.

The Spaniard then broke Paire to love, striking a forehand return service winner to lead 5-4. He'd hold to 15 for a two-sets-to-zero lead.

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“Every time I play against Rafa, the games are not good. The only times when I can sort of identify the ball, I just see it and I'm just trying to put it back onto the court,” said Paire, who fell to 0-3 against Nadal in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. “He's exceptional. He moves really fast. He hits really hard.”

The fourth-seeded Nadal will next face Dutchman Robin Haase. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0.

I know him very well and he knows me very well. He's a dangerous opponent. He hits the ball very hard. So I need to be very focused on the serve because returning him can be tough,” Nadal said. “I'll do my utmost, which is always what I do when I practise, when I play a match. I put out my best tennis... I'm not particularly obsessed about anything in particular, except that I have to play my best tennis. Then we'll see what's going to happen.”

Go inside the tournament at RolandGarros.com.

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