Rafael Nadal makes winning start to French Open but says there's 'significant room for improvement'

Rafael Nadal looked his usual dominant self on clay, as the Spaniard beat Australia's Jordan Thompson in straight sets on Monday afternoon.

Rafael Nadal made a strong start to his quest for a record 14th French Open on Monday, with the Spaniard winning in straight sets to reach the second round of the tournament.

Pitted against 28-year-old Jordan Thompson, Nadal enjoyed a dominant and consistent afternoon of tennis, as he wrapped up a 6-2 6-2 6-2 victory.

Novak Djokovic denied Rafael Nadal the title in last year's Grand Slam, but the 35-year-old will be eager to get his hands back on the trophy for a 14th time this year.

Despite struggling with a foot injury earlier this month, Nadal looked back to his best against the world No.82, and secured an early break at 2-1 in the opener to set the tempo.

Nadal continued to pile on the pressure on Thompson, who simply had no answers for the 21-time Grand Slam winner, who eventually cruised to a 106th French Open win.

"I'm very happy with the victory today. I'm happy to get through in three sets," said Nadal, who finds himself seeded outside the top four in Paris for just the second time in his career.

"It's a first round, a positive match for me. Straight sets but with significant room for improvement."

Having booked his spot in the second round, Nadal will now face France's Corentin Moutet, after the 23-year-old triumphed against 2015 winner Stan Wawrinka earlier in the day.

The pair will take to the court on Wednesday, May 25, although the match's start time is yet to be decided.

Should Nadal see off Moutet, he'll move a step closer to a possible quarter-final meeting with Novak Djokovic.

The world No.1 will start his French Open campaign on Monday evening, with Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka standing in his way of a place in the second round.

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