Paris, France , 29 May 2024 | Vivienne Christie

Alex de Minaur launched his Roland Garros 2024 campaign with a statement win, limiting big-hitting teenager Alex Michelsen to just three games in their first-round encounter.

De Minaur, the tournament’s No.11 men’s seed, completed his 6-1 6-0 6-2 victory after a long wait to take to Simmone-Mathieu Court on a cool and rainy day in Paris.

“(It was) not easy out there today. Obviously a long day, stop-starting,” the Australian commented when asked about the key to his emphatic win.

“More than anything mentally and also dealing with cold and rain in your face. Just had to be solid and, yeah, make sure I had good mentality today. That’s probably the most important thing.”

De Minaur’s composure against Michelsen, a Roland Garros main-draw debutante, was particulary impressive given an upset loss to the 19-year-old at Los Cabos earlier this year.

On that occasion though, said De Minaur, he had made a swift turnaround after reaching the Rotterdam final in his previous event.

“That match I flew from Rotterdam basically the night before from an indoor event to an outdoor event in Mexico,” he explained.

“So I probably wasn’t quite ready to play that match, but I definitely was ready today.”

Indeed, it was an accomplished performance from start to finish for De Minaur, who raced to a 5-0 lead before Michelsen at last registered a game.

Overwhelmed by De Minaur’s trademark speed, the frustrated teenager finally gained an edge of sorts when he broke the Australian to take a 2-0 lead in the final set.

It was a short reprieve, with De Minaur quickly recovering by winning six straight games and soon securing the match.

As he prepares to face world No.64 Spaniard Jaume Munar in the second round, De Minaur will take confidence from his 28 winners against Michelsen – including the deft backhand that secured his progress after one hour and 48 minutes on court.

It provides hope that after failing to progress beyond the second round in seven previous campaigns in Paris, the top-ranked Australian is at last poised for a deeper Roland Garros run.

“I’m a completely different player than previous years on the surface. I feel comfortable. I feel capable,” said the 24-year-old, who has registered wins over Novak Djokovic, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud this year.

“Again, I’m going to do my very best because ultimately my goals are, at the Slams, right, to go deep.”

Fellow Australian Adam Walton was also buoyed by his first-round performance in Paris, even after a straight-sets exit to Arthur Rinderknech.

“Despite the loss it was still an unreal experience and I think that the more chances you get to play at the big stage, the better you get,” said Walton, after a heady period that included his top-100 debut and his maiden appearance in the Roland Garros main draw.

“I’m just looking forward to the next time I get to compete at a Grand Slam, which will be Wimbledon.”

Thanasi Kokkinakis also advanced after an epic battle with countryman Alexei Popyin, with their five-set first round match spanning almost four-and-a-half hours.

> RELATED: Kokkinakis wins dramatic five-set battle at Roland Garros 2024 

Aussies in action – Roland Garros

Men’s singles, first round
[11] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d Alex Michelsen (USA) 6-1 6-0 6-2
Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) d [WC] Adam Walton (AUS) 6-2 6-4 7-5
Luciano Darderi (ITA) d Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 6-3 7-6(6) 6-1
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 4-6 7-6(8) 6-3 5-7 6-3

Men’s singles, second round
[11] Alex de Minaur (AUS)  v Jaume Munar (ESP) 

Women’s doubles, first round
[2] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Ingrid Gamarra Martins (BRA)/Olivia Nicholls (GBR)
Daria Saville (AUS)/Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v [16] Miyu Kato (JPN)/Nadiia Kichenok (UKR)

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Marton Fuscovics (HUN)/Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Tallon Griekspoor (NED)/Bart Stevens (NED)
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Denys Molchanov (UKR) v Petros Tsitsipas (GRE)/Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Guido Andreozzi (ARG) v Nicolas Barrientos (COL)/Francisco Cabral (POR)
John Peers (AUS)/Roman Safiullin v Yuki Bhambri (IND)/Albano Olivetti (FRA)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v [14] Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Jackson Withrow (USA)

Mixed doubles, first round
[1] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Matt Ebden (AUS) v [WC] Tessah Andrianjafitrimo (FRA)/Ugo Humbert (FRA)
Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA)/John Peers (AUS) v [5] Vera Zvonareva/Sander Gille (BEL)

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