Williams arrives in Paris still looking for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title having failed to lift a major title since returning a year ago after giving birth to her daughter.
Hurkacz, 22, who has claimed three wins over top-10 players this season, had no answer to the 2016 French Open victor, as Djokovic sealed a second-round spot without breaking sweat, hitting 27 winners.
Once the sting of defeat has gone, all three will have a story to tell.
Nadal, a 17-time grand slam champion, cruised to a 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 victory on the rebuilt Court Philippe Chatrier to set up a clash with another German qualifier - world No 114 Yannick Maden - in Round 2.
The 22-year-old Paul hung tough against Thiem out on Suzanne Lenglen stealing the second set then going up 4-0 in the third set breaker.
Hot Today, Severe Weather And Heavy Rain Possible Tuesday Into Wednesday
With storms returning on and off Saturday through Monday the humidity returns with highs in the low-mid 80s and lows in the 60s. We'll finally see several storm-free days Wednesday through Friday and it will also be a bit cooler with highs in the 70s.
Playing in the main draw of the tournament for the first time in her young career, Potapova claimed her first-ever victory over a top-10 player to set up a second-round tie against either fellow teenager Marketa Vondrousova or China's Wang Yafan.
The 18-year-old made short work of the fifth seed and reigning Wimbledon champion, who was bidding to complete a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros, winning 6-4, 6-2.
Nadal started his bid for a record-extending 12th men's Roland Garros title with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 win over German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, before world number one Djokovic saw off Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets.
"The court by itself, in terms of visual game, we can talk about small differences, but in terms of playing tennis, I think is the same". "I did not make many mistakes, being very solid all the time".
And the four-time Grand Slam victor reckoned the world No 1 will want to produce a statement performance, especially after losing to Nadal in Rome last week. I wanted to peak in this tournament and this is where I want to play my best tennis.
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The remaining 198 passengers aboard were able to continue their journey after the emergency landing in the city of Hermosillo. The prosecutor's office said other passengers reported seeing the man convulsing as the jetliner headed for Narita.
Later in the day, world number one Djokovic will start his tilt for a fourth straight Grand Slam title against Polish youngster Hubert Hurkacz, before 23-time women's major champion Serena Williams takes on Russia's Vitalia Diatchenko. "It feels a little bit more like indoor, which I like".
Henri Laaksonen, a lucky loser in qualifying, will be the next to take on top seed Djokovic, who looked in determined mood as he seeks a second French Open title.
"I know it's two weeks potentially long, and I just need to be in my lockdown mentally, and just do things that have worked for me in the past". I never played against him, and I did watch him play maybe once or twice.
An MRI on Sunday night confirmed a Grade 2 tear, which she said "could get a lot worse" if she played.
Nadal, Djokovic Cruise Through at Roland Garros
American Williams, who has been battling injury, showed rustiness in a poor first set filled with loose shots. A 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 victory saw him ease into round two.