Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal surprisingly needed four sets to win his first-round match Monday at the French Open.
The reigning three-time winner and third seed had his hands full with 6-foot-5 Daniel Brands, but the clay-court king from Spain fought back to beat his German counterpart 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Gael Monfils upended fifth seed Tomas Berdych on Day 2. Monfils went the distance to oust the Czech in a five-setter that lasted 4 hours, 3 minutes.
On the women’s side, reigning champion Maria Sharapova, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and 2011 French Open winner Li Na posted first-round victories on Monday.
The second-seeded former world No. 1 Sharapova dismantled Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh 6-2, 6-1 in a mere 54 minutes. Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by capturing Roland Garros last year, beating Sara Errani in the final.
By: Mike Plourde for Great Lakes Radio Sports