Rafael Nadal was perhaps glad to see the Paris skies open on Monday as Simone Bolelli threatened a comeback in their French Open first-round meeting.
In his quest for an 11th title at Roland Garros, defending champion Nadal took the first two sets but was 3-0 down in the third when officials deemed the rain to be too heavy to continue on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Nadal had previously indicated he was happy to continue after winning the second set - seemingly in a bid to claim victory and ensure a rest day - but the enforced break may have come at an opportune moment as he took his leave under the shelter of an umbrella.
Earlier in the day and under brighter skies, 2016 winner Novak Djokovic began his campaign with a straight-sets success over Rogerio Dutra Silva, but Stan Wawrinka - triumphant in 2015 - was eliminated following a five-set thriller with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
DJOKOVIC POINTS TO GRUELLING SEASON
Djokovic is continuing his recovery from an elbow problem that blighted his 2017 and the 12-time grand slam champion concedes injuries are to be expected with the sport's top stars in action almost all year round.
"The fact is that we have the longest season of all sports combined," he said following his 6-3 6-4 6-4 success against Dutra Silva. "And that is unfortunately hurting a lot of players down the road.
"I experienced that myself in the last year and a half. We all try to be fit. We all try to get our bodies and minds in the best possible state so we can always compete at the highest level, but it's not possible always.
"I think the changing of the surfaces, the time zones, it keeps on going, you know, from January 1st to end of November. It's a very long season. But, we have a beautiful sport that gives us a lot, and we have to be grateful in the end of the day."
WAWRINKA HAPPY TO ACCEPT WILDCARDS
Runner-up last year to Nadal, Wawrinka is facing a drop down the rankings after losing a host of points in going out at the hands of Garcia-Lopez, 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. The Swiss will have to rely on wildcards for some tournaments this season, but is not fazed by the situation.
"The system is good," he said. "I think all I say all my career is that the ranking doesn't lie. If you play you are at the top. If you don't play, you're getting down. For sure, I'm going to require some wildcards. But again, if I have to play some challenger, I have no problem with that.
"I know exactly where I want to be. I won three grand slams in my career and I know what it takes to do it. And my goal is to get to my top. Sooner or later I will be.
"Today I lose, for sure now we are talking a lot about the ranking, because that's what's going to happen with that match. But at the end of the day, if I look my level, I'm closer from where I want to be than the ranking."
BAUTISTA AGUT DIGS DEEP AFTER PERSONAL TRAGEDY
There was a poignant victory for Roberto Bautista Agut, who defeated Denis Istomin 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 1-6 6-4 6-4 after losing his mother, Ester, just last week.
"It's been a tough day and it's not easy to handle those things," said the 30-year-old Spaniard.
"I thought it was best to come here and take a step forward, not hide and not stay at home, keep fighting like this and that's what I've done."
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