French Open tennis - Rafael Nadal thunders past Alexei Popyrin to progress at Roland Garros in Paris
Third seed Rafael Nadal began his pursuit of a 14th title at Roland Garros with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 7-6 victory over Alexei Popyrin on Tuesday afternoon. The Spaniard clinched victory on a tie-break in the third set after a fleeting resistance from the Australian and will now move comfortably into the second round of his favourite tournament.
Highlights: Nadal downs Popyrin in straight sets to win opener in Paris
Rafael Nadal began his 2021 French Open campaign with a typically destructive victory over Alexei Popyrin in straight sets in Paris.
The 13-time champion at Roland Garros, sporting a lurid fluorescent shirt in the baking sunshine on Philippe Chatrier, steamrollered the Australian with consummate ease to secure his place in the second round.
It was his 101st victory at the tournament he has made his own and the King of Clay never looked in any trouble as he won through in two hours and 23 minutes.