PARIS, May 29, 2017
Defending champion Novak Djokovic marches into the second round at Roland Garros with a comfortable 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Marcel Granollers from Spain. With his new coach, Andre Agassi, the 1999 French Open titlist, watching in the tribunes, Djokovic hit 30 winners and broke serve eight times to prevail in two hours and 27 minutes.
“Granollers is a tricky player. He knows how to anticipate well on the court. He has a good serve. It was a bit of a rusty start, but in general, it was a good performance. I was feeling the ball well. I’m just glad to start off the tournament this way,” Djokovic told.
“It’s a different feeling this year because obviously coming to this tournament for first time as a defending champion gave me, probably more than anything else, relief, because the anticipation and the pressure and expectations that I had also for myself but all the other people around me in the last three, four, five years before 2016 Roland Garros trophy was really big. So I was really thrilled to achieve one of my childhood dreams and win all Grand Slams. To come back to this court, it was definitely special.”
Next up for Djokovic will be Joao Sousa from Portugal, who fought past Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in four sets.
Nadal Starts Title Bid
Rafael Nadal began his quest for “La Décima” in Paris with relative ease, beating Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in just under two hours.
“It’s always to start with a victory in three sets. Benoit is not an easy opponent in the first round, obviously. He’s an uncomfortable opponent who already had some good victories this year. I came on court with a lot of respect,” Nadal said.
“For me, it’s important to serve a little bit better than what I did today… I feel that some moments I was not serving that well. The rest of the things I am happy with.”
Nadal will next play Robin Haase from the Netherlands.
“I know him very well and he knows me very well, he is a dangerous opponent. He hit the ball very hard. So I need to be very focused on the serve because returns can be tough. I will try to play solid and I will be prepared for a tough match,” Nadal told.