French Open 2018: Rafael Nadal notches 80th Roland Garros win; Maria Sharapova fights back to reach 2nd round

Rafael Nadal racked up his 80th win at Roland Garros on Tuesday as he defeated Italian lucky loser Simone Bolelli 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9) to reach the second round.

AFP May 29, 2018 20:43:36 IST
French Open 2018: Rafael Nadal notches 80th Roland Garros win; Maria Sharapova fights back to reach 2nd round

Paris: Rafael Nadal racked up his 80th win at Roland Garros on Tuesday as the 10-time champion defeated Italian lucky loser Simone Bolelli 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9) to reach the second round.

World number one Nadal had been two sets up but 0-3 down in the third when rain caused the tie to be suspended late Monday.

French Open 2018 Rafael Nadal notches 80th Roland Garros win Maria Sharapova fights back to reach 2nd round

Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his first round at French Open against Simone Bolelli. AP

He quickly levelled at 3-3 on Tuesday and saved four break points in the eighth game before saving four set points.

Nadal eventually claimed the match on a third match point when Bolelli dumped a forehand into the net.

The top seeded Nadal, bidding for an 11th title in Paris and his 17th major, next faces Argentina's Guido Pella for a place in the last-32.

Meanwhile in the women's section, two-time champion Maria Sharapova survived a serious scare to claim a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp in her first French Open match since 2015 on Tuesday.

The Russian was controversially not given a wildcard by organisers for the tournament last year, which took place shortly after her return from a doping suspension.

Sharapova, the 28th seed, will face Croatia's Donna Vekic in the second round.

The five-time Grand Slam winner is only seeded at Roland Garros courtesy of a semi-final run in Rome earlier this month which dragged her back into the top 30 for the first time since her ban.

The 31-year-old took just 24 minutes to win the first set of a match which was delayed from Monday due to thunderstorms, but threw away a 3-1 lead in the second as world number 133 Hogenkamp forced a decider.

Sharapova was staring down the barrel of falling at first hurdle in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2010 Australian Open when trailing 3-0 in the third, but the former world number one dug deep and reeled off six straight games to edge into round two.

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