Dimitrov, Carreno Busta Storm Into Second Round
The 11th seed fired 35 winners, including eight aces, to dispatch Robert. He was a perfect six-for-six converting break points and turned aside eight of 10 faced. A two-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year, in Brisbane and Sofia, Dimitrov is looking to return to top form in the French capital after suffering early clay-court exits at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo and Rome.
"I'm so happy," Dimitrov said. "It's good. It's always good to win that first match, especially at any Slam, but here for the past three years I haven't been able to win a match. So today was a good day for me to start a good campaign. I like my chances out here. I like the clay. So I just want to make sure that I'm doing the right things in order to win every round."
Robert, meanwhile, was contesting his eighth main draw at his home Grand Slam. "Maybe this year is the last one, but I will try to come back next year," said the 37-year-old Robert. "It was beautiful. I never played on the centre court [Court Philippe Chatrier]. It was the first time for me. It was pleasant, even into the third set. I was way behind, and I was still fighting, but obviously when the public supports you, it makes a big difference."
Dimitrov will face Tommy Robredo in the second round after the Spanish veteran claimed his 37th match win at the clay-court Grand Slam, rallying past Daniel Evans 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. It was yet another escape act at Roland Garros for the five-time quarter-finalist. In 2013, he became the only player in the Open Era to win three consecutive matches from two sets down, in reaching the last eight. On Wednesday, he will face Dimitrov for the fourth time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Robredo owns a 3-1 edge, most recently prevailing in the Marrakech first round last month. The former World No. 5 is competing in his first Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open, after sitting out six months with a right elbow injury.
Also prevailing on Day One at Roland Garros was 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who routed Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. The Spaniard closed out the convincing win on Court 14 with a backhand winner. He turned aside six of seven break points faced during the one-hour and 36-minute contest.
Carreno Busta, champion at the Millennium Estoril Open last month, will next face Taro Daniel after the Japanese dispatched Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. The World No. 21 has won all seven of their previous encounters, including five at the ITF Futures level and the 2014 Seville Challenger final. Their lone tour-level meeting came in Estoril last year.
The win was Daniel's first in a completed match at the Grand Slam level. He needed two hours and 23 minutes to defeat Janowicz, hitting just eight unforced errors to the Pole's 32.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez pulled the first upset of the tournament in downing an in-form 26th seed Gilles Muller 7-6(4), 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-2. Competing in his 50th consecutive Grand Slam main draw, the Spaniard overcame 59 winners to reach the second round. He joins Feliciano Lopez (61), Fernando Verdasco (56) and Novak Djokovic (50) as the only players with active streaks of at least 50.
Garcia-Lopez will face qualifier Marco Trungelliti next, after the Argentine staged the first two-set comeback of the tournament. He rallied past French wild card Quentin Halys 3-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 54 minutes. Trungelliti has enjoyed back-to-back memorable openers at Roland Garros, following a first-round upset of 10th seed Marin Cilic last year.
"Right now, I'm extremely disappointed," said Halys. "I was very close to winning first three sets, then four sets. Finally lost in five. Extremely disappointed. I think there was room for me to actually win the match today."
Go inside the tournament at RolandGarros.com.