There are easier first round opponents in a Grand Slam tournament than Nr 44: Denis Istomin, but Richard defeated the Uzbek in straight sets: 7-5 7-6 6-4. His next opponent is Paolo Lorenzi.
Richard started slowly, cautious on serve and conservative in the rallies. He was broken in the fifth game. But when Istomin served for the set at 5*-3, Richard put his backhand on display and rebroke. He hold his own serve and broke again to take the first set 7-5.
But instead of taking the initiative, he allowed Istomin to go again for his shots and was broken in the seventh game. Like in the first set he played his best tennis right thereafter, broke back straight away and took the match to the breaker in which he prevailed:7-6(5).
In the third set, Richard managed to take the momentum with him and break in Istomin's first service game. He never looked back and Istomin stopped believing. Never in danger on his serve, Richard closed out the set 6-4.