Pre-tournament favourites cruised to victories on Monday at Roland Garros
RAFAEL NADAL and Novak Djokovic breezed through their opening matches in muggy Paris.
Nadal, the bookies’ favourite to claim an astonishing 10th French Open title, needed less than two hours to beat France’s Benoit Paire 6-1 6-4 6-1.
The Spaniard had to dig deep in the second set to come from a break down and avoid giving up another, but was pleased with the nature of his win.
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Nadal said: “It’s always at the start, happy for the victory. Was not an easy opponent in the first round, obviously.
“He’s an uncomfortable opponent that already he had some good victories this year. I came on court with a lot of respect, no?
“I think I played very good first set. During the second I suffered a little bit, especially with 4-3, bad point.
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“And after that I make the break straight and then finished close set, and it was a little bit less difficult.”
Djokovic took a little longer to dispose of another tricky first-round opponent, Spain’s Marcel Granollers, but was comfortable enough in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.
And the reigning champion will hoping to stay in Paris longer than his new coaching consultant, Andre Agassi, who won’t be here to see it if his man retains the title on June 11.
Djokovic revealed: “He’s going to stay I think till the end — well, I hope till the end of this week.
“Then he has to leave, because he has some scheduled already things that he cannot reschedule. So that’s all.
“I’m going to try to use the time spent with him as best as I can, as best as we can.
“You know, I think this is exactly what I need at this moment, a person like him that understands the transitions as a tennis player and, you know, as a person, as well, going through these kind of lifestyle and certain choices that you make, how that affects you later on.
“So he has been through that, and he has a lot to share with me outside and inside of the tennis lines. I’m really enjoying it so far.”