Paris - Top seed Novak Djokovic eased into the third round of the French Open on Thursday, swatting aside Belgian veteran Steve Darcis 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
It was the 29-year-old Serb's 50th win at Roland Garros in a tournament that he is itching to capture to become just the eighth man to win all four Grand Slam titles.
He already has 11 Grand Slam crowns -- six coming at the Australian Open, three at Wimbledon and two at the US Open -- but to date he has come up short in Paris, losing three of the last four finals.
"He plays with a lot of speed, good from the baseline and it was not easy for me to play the points the way I wanted," Djokovic said of 32-year-old Darcis.
"He has a lot of talent and it was tough. I am happy to have won in three sets."
A straight sets winner in his opener, Djokovic went 3-0 up in double quick time, but dropped serve in the fifth game as Darcis went on the attack to pull level.
A tie-break looked to be looming before a brace of double faults opened the door for Djokovic in a marathon 12th game, and he took the hour-long set when a Darcis backhand slice went marginally long.
The world number one made it five games in a row to go 3-0 ahead in the second and with Darcis looking more and more out of his depth he moved out into a two sets to love lead.
The third set merely confirmed Djokovic's ascendancy, breaking the Darcis serve once again in the opening game and going on to wrap up the tie up in comfortable fashion.
Djokovic will next go up against Slovenia-born Briton Aljaz Bedene who edged Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in a five-set thriller 7/6 (7/4), 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-2.
It is the first time that Bedene has reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament and he will join fellow Briton Andy Murray in going for a place in the last 16.