Nadal, an eight-time champion in Rome, took 66 minutes to eliminate Chardy, who has never defeated Nadal in their three career encounters, reports Efe news.
“It was a good start today,” said Nadal, who is seeking his first title this year. “I am happy with that victory and happy because it took one hour, and that is important for what is coming up,” the 32-year-old said.
In other Italian Open action, Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina beat Germany’s David Goffin 6-4, 6-2 taking his revenge after he was defeated by the German at the 2018 edition of the Italian Open and the 2018 Cincinnati Masters.
Argentine del Potro is set to square off against world No. 76 Casper Ruud of Norway, who got past 36th-ranked Nick Kyrgios of Australia.