French Open: Djokovic and Federer reach second round

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both began their French Open campaigns with straight-sets victories to book their places in the second round.

World number one Djokovic took his time to grind down Italian Potito Starace with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-1 win.

That followed third seed Federer's 6-2 7-5 6-3 dismantling of the unseeded German Tobias Kamke.

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic is also through after beating Dudi Sela of Israel 6-3 6-4 6-1.

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal play their first-round matches on Tuesday.

Ranked 97 in the world, Starace proved a stubborn opponent to Djokovic and held his serve throughout the opening set.

He denied the top seed two set points to force a tie-break, but Djokovic dominated it to take control of the match.

In the third game of the second set, the Italian repelled five break points but Djokovic, 25, finally converted a ninth opportunity.

That moved him 3-2 ahead and the Serbian broke once again on the way to a two-set advantage.

Starace's resistance was broken and Djokovic, aiming to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four major trophies, finished off a dominant third set with a second-serve ace.

"Potito is a specialist on this surface but I played well considering it was the first match at this year's Roland Garros," said Djokovic.

"There was a breeze out there which I didn't like, just like all the players.

"I hope to go on and get good results, but it's too early to talk about the final."

Djokovic will next face Blaz Kavcic after the Slovenian beat Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

Federer, 2009 champion and runner-up 12 months ago, coasted through the first set against world number 78 Kamke.

But he was a break down in the second before two breaks of his own put the Swiss in total control.

Federer had no problems in closing out the match and his victory equals Jimmy Connors' record of 233 Grand Slam match wins.

"They are never easy, those first rounds," said Federer, who faces Romania's Adrian Ungur in the second round.

"I missed a few too many shots but I was in the lead so I could afford to do those.

"I'm very happy because Jimmy Connors was a huge champion, still is, so it's a great pleasure.

"That record is a big one, because of the longevity. I have been so successful for such a long time and to already tie that record, at 30 years old, is pretty incredible, so I'm very happy."

American John Isner, who is seeded 10, beat Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who was seeded 15, retired due to a side muscle injury after losing the first five games of his match against Florent Serra of France.

Lopez's fellow countryman Marcel Granollers, seeded 20th, beat Portuguese Joao Sousa 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-4.

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