Defending champion Rafael Nadal began his quest for yet another crown at French Open beating Egor Gerasimov to enter the second round on Monday. Nadal, who skipped the US Open citing coronavirus fears, is aiming for a record-extending 13th singles title at Roland Garros.Also Read - WATCH | Rafael Nadal Plays Tennis With 97-Year-Old Man

Nadal won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to make the next round. Also Read - Stefanos Tsitsipas Posts Image of Him in Hospital With Heavily-Bandaged Arm

He will next face Mackenzie McDonald. Also Read - Peng Shuai: New Video 'Insufficient' Evidence of Chinese Tennis Player's Safety, Says WTA Chief Steve Simon

Serena Williams also advanced to the second round beating Kristie Ahn 7-6 (2) 6-0. The three-time French Open champion is looking to equal the all-time record of Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles.

Williams next faces Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.

US Open men’s singles champion Dominic Thiem started his campaign for a second Grand Slam title with a dominating 6-4 6-3 6-3 win over Marin Cilic. Thiem is a two-time French Open finalist where he lost to Nadal on both occasions.

Thiem admits that the next generation has a task to gain the popularity the big three – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – command. His comments were made in the context of broadcaster ESPN reporting that the ratings for US Open 2020 were down 48 per cent.

“I think it’s normal, because Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, they are like global superstars, and we are not yet,” Thiem said. “I guess we have to build it up like they did. I think there is a chance to do it, but it comes automatically with a lot of success. That’s our challenge to do.

“But I think that we are not going to have a problem, because for me, like the new generation, or also my generation, they are super-good characters, interesting characters, a lot of star potential there. The only thing we are missing is the huge success.

“I guess that there are less viewers or less interest if Roger, Rafa, and Novak are not there much. It’s normal, because as I said, they are global superstars, and I hope we are on the way there.”

Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber exited in the first round for a second straight year after losing to 19-year-old Slovenian Kaja Juvan 3-6, 3-6.

And so did Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion, after being beaten by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6, 6-2, 1-6.

Garbine Muguruza outlasted Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 4-6, 8-6 as she nearly avoided defeat.