Paris (AP): Fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych eased into the second round of the French Open on Monday with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-3 win over Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka.
Taking on a player looking for a first ever win on clay at a big tournament, Berdych used his powerful groundstrokes to overwhelm Nishioka from the start.
The hard-hitting Czech broke for a 2-0 lead and never looked back, sealing the first set in 27 minutes.
The Japanese teenager offered a better resistance in the second set but his lack of experience was flagrant in the 12th game when Berdych applied more pressure with a series of good returns and broke with a backhand down the line that Nishioka returned wide.
Another break in the third set was enough for Berdych to improve his record on the Parisian clay to 18-11.
Berdych saved all three break points he faced and hit a total of 32 winners.
The Czech is playing at Roland Garros for the 12th consecutive time and has reasons to believe he can match his best result in the French capital a semifinalist spot he achieved five years ago.
After hiring Andy Murray's former coach Dani Vallverdu, Berdych has been in consistent form this year, reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open and finishing runner-up in Doha, Rotterdam and, more recently, at the Monte Carlo Masters.
On a cool and breezy day, the hot-tempered Fabio Fognini kept his cool as the 28th-seeded Italian dispatched another Japanese player, Tatsuma Ito, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
On women's play, eight-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro continued her good run of form, advancing to the second round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Monica Niculescu. The Spaniard, who was runner-up to Maria Sharapova in Rome, could face the Russian defending champion in the quarterfinals.
"I'm much more confident indeed compared to last year," said Suarez Navarro, who lost in the last-eight last year. "One of the big differences between this year versus last year is mentally. I know what I'm doing."
Local favorite and No. 29 seed Alize Cornet rallied past Roberta Vinci 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 while former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki breezed past Monica Puig 6-3, 6-2.