French Open: Djokovic and Nadal win in first round
Novak Djokovic won his first match under new coach Andre Agassi, while Rafael Nadal took a first step towards his 10th title at the French Open.
Defending champion Djokovic, who split with his coaching team last month, beat Spain’s Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-4 6-2.
Asked about Agassi, the Serb said: “He has a lot to share with me outside and inside of the tennis lines. I’m really enjoying it so far.”
Nadal saw off Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-1 6-4 6-1 with little trouble. Elsewhere, Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic beat Belgium’s Steve Darcis 6-3 6-4 6-2. Seventh seed Marin Cilic is also through after he won 6-3 6-3 6-3 against Ernests Gulbis.
But ninth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, who beat Djokovic to win the Italian Open, will have to return on Tuesday to continue his match against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco after rain and failing light brought an end to their contest with the score tied at one set all.
Djokovic, 30, was out early on Philippe Chatrier Court practising under the watchful eye of new coach Agassi, and he returned a few hours later to get their first win on the board.
It was hardly vintage Djokovic, with the second seed making 29 unforced errors and falling to convert 12 break points. Nadal, 30, was up against the crowd as much as his opponent as he took on Frenchman Paire on the lively Suzanne Lenglen Court.
The fourth seed was himself given a huge ovation as his list of title wins stretching back to 2005 was read out, and he dominated for the most part.
An unexpected rash of errors early in the second set allowed Paire into the match, and the world number 45 had a break point to lead 5-3, but Nadal snuffed out the danger and powered home.