Nadal survives opening round scare

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Nadal survives opening round scare

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Rafael Nadal survived a huge first round scare as he began his title defence at the French Open on Monday.

The Spaniard was made to work hard by Germany’s Daniel Brands who raced into a one set lead and then was 3-0 up in the second set tiebreak.

But Nadal eventually subdued the 59th ranked Brands to see out a nervy 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-3 victory.

It was a great day for the French contingent as Gael Monfils beat fifth ranked Tomas Berdych while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was another of five home players to make it through on day two.

Maria Sharapova started her title defence in emphatic style brushing aside Taipei’s Hsieh Su-Wei.

The Russian second seed needed just 54 minutes to book her ticket in round two with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition.

Sharapova next faces Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard.

Agnieszka Radwanska was also ruthless in her opening match against Shahar Peer winning through 6-1, 6-1. 2011 champion and 6th seed Li Na of China also progressed at the expense of Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues while British number one Laura Robson was sent to the first round exit door by Caroline Wozniacki.