Djokovic off to winning start

2012-05-28 17:51
Novak Djokovic (AP)

Paris - Roger Federer may make Rafael Nadal his favourite to lift a seventh French Open crown, but Novak Djokovic's historic bid to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four Grand Slam titles is on track after Monday's first round win over Italian Potito Starace.

After a tough opening set forced him to go the distance in the tie-break, Djokovic won his encounter on the main Phillipe Chatrier Court 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-1 in 2hr 04min to book a meeting with Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia.

World number one Djokovic already has the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open crowns under wraps and a first French Open triumph in two weeks' time would make him the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the sweep.

Of the seven men to win all the four majors in their careers, only Don Budge and Laver (twice) have held all four at the same time.

Since Laver's 1969 achievement, only Pete Sampras, Federer and defending Roland Garros champion Nadal have had opportunities to complete a non-calendar year Grand Slam.

Djokovic has yet to reach a Paris final, having fallen three times at the semi-final stage.

Starace, ranked 97, counts clay as his favourite surface but has never gone beyond the third round here and he was cannon fodder for Djokovic in this form.

After pushing his rival all the way in the opening set the Italian thereafter was outclassed as Djokovic banged down six aces and did the bare minimum in picking off four of 15 break chances despite finding the swirling breeze off-putting.

"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, who won rousing applause for conducting his on-court interview in French.

"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," he insisted.

Results from the second day of the 2012 French Open at Roland Garros on Monday (x denotes seeded player):


First Round

Florent Serra, France, def. Feliciano Lopez (15), Spain, 5-0, retired.
Martin Klizan, Slovakia, def. Frank Dancevic, Canada, 4-0, retired.
Marcel Granollers (20), Spain, def. Joao Sousa, Portugal, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Blaz Kavcic, Slovenia, def. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3.
Malek Jaziri, Tunisia, def. Philipp Petzschner, Germany, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7).
Mikhail Kukushkin, Kazakhstan, def. Ernests Gulbis, Latvia, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 2-6, 6-4.
Andreas Seppi (22), Italy, def. Nikolay Davydenko, Russia, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5.
Roger Federer (3), Switzerland, def. Tobias Kamke, Germany, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.
Lukasz Kubot, Poland, def. Karol Beck, Slovakia, 7-5, 6-2, 7-5.
Adrian Ungur, Romania, def. David Nalbandian, Argentina, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
Horacio Zeballos, Argentina, def. Eric Prodon, France, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
Kevin Anderson (31), South Africa, def. Rui Machado, Portugal, 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (6/8), 4-6, 6-1, 11-9.
John Isner (10), United States, def. Rogerio Dutra Silva, Brazil, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Jesse Levine, United States, def. Benjamin Becker, Germany, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
Novak Djokovic (1), Serbia, def. Potito Starace, Italy, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-1.
Michael Llodra, France, def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Bernard Tomic (25), Australia, def. Andreas Haider-Maurer, Austria, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-3.
Santiago Giraldo, Colombia, def. Alejandro Falla, Colombia, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
Arnaud Clement, France, def. Alex Bogomolov Jr., Russia, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 5-4, retired.
Viktor Troicki (28), Serbia, def. Thomaz Bellucci, Brazil, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Tomas Berdych (7), Czech Republic, def. Dudi Sela, Israel, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
Milos Raonic (19), Canada, def. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, Spain, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
Gilles Simon (11), France, def. Ryan Harrison, United States, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.
Paul-Henri Mathieu, France, def. Bjorn Phau, Germany, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (24), Germany, def. Matthew Ebden, Australia, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
Leonardo Mayer, Argentina, def. Olivier Rochus, Belgium, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Brian Baker, United States, def. Xavier Malisse, Belgium, 6-3, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5).
David Goffin, Belgium, def. Radek Stepanek (23), Czech Republic, 6-2, 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Tommy Haas, Germany, leads Filippo Volandri, Italy, 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 4-2, susp., darkness.
Alexandr Dolgopolov (16), Ukraine, vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky, Ukraine, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, susp., darkness.


First Round

Dominika Cibulkova (15), Slovakia, def. Kristina Mladenovic, France, 6-2, 6-1.
Lauren Davis, United States, def. Mona Barthel (30), Germany, 6-1, 6-1.
Anabel Medina Garrigues (29), Spain, def. Laura Robson, Britain, 6-2, 6-1.
Nadia Petrova (27), Russia, def. Iveta Benesova, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3.
Vania King, United States, def. Galina Voskoboeva, Kazakhstan, 6-4, 6-2.
Chan Yung-jan, Taiwan, def. Kateryna Bondarenko, Ukraine, 6-1, 7-6 (10/8).
Victoria Azarenka (1), Belarus, def. Alberta Brianti, Italy, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-2.
Jelena Jankovic (19), Serbia, def. Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, Austria, 1-6, 6-1, 7-5.
Li Na (7), China, def. Sorana Cirstea, Romania, 6-2, 6-1.
Zheng Jie (31), China, def. Alize Cornet, France, 6-4, 6-4.
Sesil Karatantcheva, Kazakhstan, def. Timea Babos, Hungary, 6-1, 6-0.
Christina McHale, United States, def. Kiki Bertens, Netherlands, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Petra Martic, Croatia, def. Michaella Krajicek, Netherlands, 6-2, 7-5.
Chanelle Scheepers, South Africa, def. Laura Pous-Tio, Spain, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.
Olga Govortsova, Belarus, def. Romina Oprandi, Switzerland, 6-4, 6-1.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States, def. Sabine Lisicki (12), Germany, 6-4, 6-3.
Petra Cetkovska (24), Czech Republic, def. Simona Halep, Romania, 6-1, 6-3.
Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain, def. Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand, 6-0, 6-3.
Sloane Stephens, United States, def. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6).
Flavia Pennetta (18), Italy, def. Hsieh Su-wei, Taiwan, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-2.
Varvara Lepchenko, United States, def. Ksenia Pervak, Kazakhstan, 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4.
Sofia Arvidsson, Sweden, def. Roberta Vinci (17), Italy, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Yaroslava Shvedova, Kazakhstan, def. Mandy Minella, Luxembourg, 6-3, 6-4.
Marion Bartoli (8), France, def. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3.
Agnieszka Radwanska (3), Poland, def. Bojana Jovanovski, Serbia, 6-1, 6-0.
Nina Bratchikova, Russia, def. Monica Niculescu (32), Romania, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Claire Feuerstein, France, def. Vera Dushevina, Russia, 6-4, 6-1.
Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France, def. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Czech Republic, 6-3, 7-5.

Read more on:    french open  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis

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