Nadal wins French opener

Paris, France ( - Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal was an easy first-round winner Tuesday at the French Open.

The former world No. 1 great eased past 296th-ranked Frenchman Quentin Halys 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 on Court Chatrier.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in last year's final to capture a fifth straight title at Roland Garros, where the Spanish star is now 67-1 for his career.

Nadal entered this fortnight with his lowest seed ever in Paris -- No. 6. He did not win any of the four French Open tune-up events this spring, including a loss to Andy Murray in a Masters final in Madrid.

David Ferrer and Marin Cilic joined Nadal in the second round.

Ferrer, the seventh seed and 2013 French Open runner-up, blasted Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-3, 6-1, while Cilic, the ninth seed and reigning U.S. Open champ, had little trouble in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 romp of Dutchman Robin Haase.

Sixteenth-seeded American John Isner moved on with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Italian Andreas Seppi.

Also on Day 3, 15th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson handled American Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, 20th-seeded French favorite Richard Gasquet rolled past Belgian Germain Gigounon 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 and 23rd-seeded Argentine Leonardo Mayer outlasted Czech Jiri Vesely 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. Mayer was a runner-up on clay in Nice last week.