Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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French Open: Routine wins for Djokovic, Nadal

World number one Novak Djokovic opened his French Open title defence in routine fashion with a straight-set win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

Serbia’s Djokovic dropped just four games as he cruised to a 6-3 6-1 6-0 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 35-year-old was making his return to Grand Slam action after his high-profile deportation from Australia before the Australian Open in January.

He will next meet either Argentina’s Federico Coria or Slovakia’s Alex Molcan, who is coached by Djokovic’s former long-time coach Marian Vajda.

“I have to be pleased with the match,” Djokovic said.

“I struggled to adapt in the first set. He is a very quick player. The first set was close but I cruised through the second and third.

“I always expect the highest for myself but it was a very good start.

“I have been feeling well on clay in the past few weeks. I am happy to be back. The memories from last year are fresh in my mind.”

In Monday’s day session, Nadal began his quest for a record-extending 14th men’s title with a commanding straight-set victory over Australia’s Thompson.

The Spaniard, aiming to reclaim his crown after Djokovic’s triumph in 2021, cruised to a 6-2 6-2 6-2 win.

It was a 106th French Open victory for the 35-year-old fifth seed, who will face Corentin Moutet in the second round after the Frenchman’s victory over 2015 winner Stan Wawrinka.

“I’m very happy with the victory today. I’m happy to get through in three sets,” said Nadal, seeded outside the top four in Paris for just the second time in his career.

“It’s a first round, a positive match for me. Straight sets but with significant room for improvement.”

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