PARIS A dominant Rafael Nadal arrived at one career milestone on Thursday but the speed of the Spaniard's rampage through the early rounds of the French Open suggests his eyes are fixed firmly on another more significant one.
The world number five, seeded four at the tournament he once owned, destroyed Argentina's Facundo Bagnis 6-3 6-0 6-3 to reach the third round for the loss of only nine games and chalked up a 200th match victory in grand slams.
"That's only another number, and that's it," Nadal, who would become the only man to win the same grand slam 10 times in the professional era if he triumphs this year, told reporters.
"The only thing I know is that I have reached round three and I know I have to play at a very high level in order to go deep. That's my sole objective, my only reality."
It was his first appearance on Court Philippe Chatrier, where nine times he has sunk his teeth into La Coupe des Mousquetaires, since being taken apart by Novak Djokovic in last year's quarter-finals.
Tougher tests will come and top seed Djokovic looked in the groove by beating tricky Belgium Steve Darcis 7-5 6-3 6-4 as his quest for the only grand slam title to elude him gathered pace.
Defending champion Serena Williams was scheduled for second-round action later against Brazil's Teliana Pereira on an overcast fifth day at the claycourt grand slam.
With Maria Sharapova absent, suspended pending the outcome of a doping hearing, and several leading seeds knocked out in round one, American Williams looms as the overwhelming favourite to claim a fourth title in the French capital.
She might not have it all her own way though and the likes of former champion Ana Ivanovic and Spanish claycourt specialist Carla Suarez Navarro were impressive on Thursday.
Ivanovic, seeded 14, crunched 22 forehand winners past Japan's Kurumi Nara for a 7-5 6-1 victory while 12th seed Suarez Navarro dominated China's Wang Qiang 6-1 6-3.
Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky also prevailed in a tricky second round against 2014 runner-up Eugenie Bouchard, winning a topsy-turvy match 6-4 6-4.
In the men's draw seventh-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych, a former semi-finalist, moved through to the third round by beating Tunisian Malek Jaziri 6-1 2-6 6-2 6-4.
He was joined by Austrian dangerman Dominic Thiem, the youngest member of the top 15, who saw off experienced Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in three sets.
One notable second-round faller was Australia's Bernard Tomic, the 23-year-old 20th seed, who was beaten by rising Croatian force, teenager Borna Coric.
Five Frenchmen were in action on Thursday hoping to join a trio already into the third round with sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and mercurial Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis set to provide the late afternoon thrills.
(Editing by Julien Pretot)