Rafael Nadal completed the 300th win of his career in Grand Slams with a 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory over Corentin Moutet to reach the third round of the French Open.
Nadal came into the second round on Court Philippe-Chartrier protecting a perfect record against home players at Roland-Garros, and he had no trouble in dispatching the 10th Frenchman to face him in Paris.
There are concerns about the well-being of Nadal, given a chronic foot injury severely hampered him at the Italian Open, and he said it was something he was having to manage.
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Against Moutet, he appeared to be moving freely - as his French opponent tested him with a series of drop shots.
Bigger tests lie ahead for Nadal, as Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz are in the same half of the draw, but there were positives to take from his win over Moutet.
Following his win, Nadal confirmed he is working on his fitness on a day-by-day basis - and said victories fuel his confidence.
“It is a work of every day,” Nadal, who will face Botic Van De Zandschulp in round three, said. “The last couple of months have not been easy, after the start of the season was so fantastic, unforgettable and emotional.
“After Indian Wells I had the problem with my rib, I had to be off the court for a while.
“So it is a day-by-day work. The victories help a lot. To play rallies and win matches like tonight it is important.
“I will practice tomorrow and then another game and we will see.
“I am just enjoying being in Roland Garros, the most important tournament for me.
“Let’s see what happens.”
Moutet looked nervous at the start of the match, having said pre-game that he was taking on his idol, and coughed up an early break of serve which allowed Nadal to control the opening set.
Concerns over Nadal’s movement were to some extent allayed in the third game of the second set, as Moutet sent the Spaniard up and down the court with lobs and drop shots. Nadal answered every call and a winning smash from the baseline had the crowd on their feet.
Moutet gave the home fans something to cheer when breaking Nadal at the start of the third set, but the 21-time major winner broke back almost immediately to take the energy from the crowd and belief from his opponent.
Nadal struggled with depth of shot on occasions, and there were lapses at the net, but he found telling length in the eighth game of the third set to force a break of serve.
But it was clear that Nadal was not firing on all cylinders as a poor service game, coupled with some inspired hitting from Moutet, saw the Frenchman break back.
The home fans were by now in full voice again, enjoying their evening at Roland-Garros, but Nadal is not one to dwell on errors and after the change of ends he wrapped up the victory - moving to match point with an exquisite drop shot and closing out the win when his opponent sent a lob over the baseline.
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