Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were a class apart as they breezed into the second round of the French Open and Andy Murray completed a rousing fightback against veteran Radek Stepanek on day three.
Top seed Djokovic is a strong favourite to win his first title at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam and the world number one brushed aside Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4 6-1 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Nine-time French Open champion Nadal put on a show on a cold day in Paris, taking only 80 minutes to put Sam Groth out of his misery with a crushing 6-1 6-1 6-1 victory.
Murray was two sets down against Stepanek on Monday, but finished off the comeback he started on day two by securing a 3-6 3-6 6-0 6-3 7-5 against the fired-up 37-year-old Czech.
RAFA IN A RUSH
Nadal did not face a solitary break point as he gave Groth a lesson in what was the world number 100’s first match on clay since his French Open exit last year.
The sparkling Spaniard eased through to the second round at a canter, conjuring up a sensational winner through the legs from beyond the baseline after charging to retrieve a Groth lob.
Nadal, who lost just one point on serve in each of the first two sets, will also be safe in the knowledge that he will not face Fabio Fognini in the third round after the Italian was beaten by Marcel Granollers on his 29th birthday.
Fognini beat Nadal three times last year, including a five-setter at the US Open, but will not get the opportunity to inflict another defeat on the man dubbed ‘King of Clay’.
DJOKOVIC STRAIGHT IN THE GROOVE
Djokovic would have been encouraged to see defending champion Stan Wawrinka and second seed Murray taken to five sets as he eyes an elusive maiden French Open title.
While Wawrinka and Murray were given a major scare, the Serb had far too much for Lu in a first-round match which was over quickly.
Djokovic now turns his attention to facing Belgian Steve Darcis and said: “I haven’t seen him play much on clay. I’m going to have to do a little bit of homework there.”
ROBERT PULLS OFF ANDERSON UPSET
Big-serving South Africa Kevin Anderson had a day to forget, losing 6-4 6-2 1-6 7-5 to French wildcard Stephane Robert.
Not since 2010 had Anderson been beaten in the first round at Roland Garros, but Robert consigned the 18th seed to an early exit on day three.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (24) and Federico Delbonis (31) were the other seeds to suffer defeats along with Fognini (31).