Rafael Nadal cruised to an easy straight-set win over Italy's Simone Bolelli in the first round of the 2012 French Open on Tuesday. The Spaniard looked outstanding and appears poised to take his record seventh championship at Roland Garros.
Bolelli offered little resistance to Nadal, as the 25-year-old No. 2 seed smoked him 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. The win improved Nadal's record at the French Open to 46-1, his only loss coming in the fourth round of the 2009 tournament to Robin Soderling.
During his win on Tuesday, Nadal once again showed why he is the world's best clay court player. He only made 18 unforced errors, which was less than half of Bolelli's total.
The Spaniard looked great against Bolelli, moving well and making his opponent chase shots all over the court. He appears to be back in top form, and is now 17-1 this year on clay. His only loss came on the controversial blue clay at the Madrid Open earlier this month.
Nadal has won back-to-back titles at Roland Garros and six of the last seven French Opens. A win at this year's event would give him 11 Grand Slam titles, tying him with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. Winning his seventh French Open would set a record for the most in the Open Era. He is currently tied with Borg atop the list with six.
While Novak Djokovic is the No. 1 seed and has won three straight Grand Slam titles, Nadal is by far the best in the world on clay. Djokovic and Roger Federer are the only players in the world who can compete with Nadal on clay and neither one will be able to stop Rafa this year.
His opening-round win showed that Nadal is in top form, and he should cruise to another French Open title.