World number one Roger Federer quickly became aware who was top dog on clay as Rafael Nadal stormed to victory in the opening set of today’s French Open final.
Three unforced errors from the top-seeded Swiss in the first game of the match gifted Nadal a quick break, but Federer showed better in the next game, forcing two break points before the reigning champion held.
Federer began to come to the net more in the third game, which Nadal responded to with a crisp winner down the line for 0-30. But Federer rallied and two aces indicated that there was some fight emerging in the 12-time grand slam winner.
But the unforced errors and mistimed shots that have been as much a feature of Federer’s run to the final as his winners were there for all to see in the next game, Nadal holding to love to move 3-1 ahead.
A break of Federer to love in the next game meant the writing was on the wall for the first set, and Nadal rattled off the next two games with comparative ease to take the first set 6-1 after just 32 minutes.