ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic follows Rafael Nadal into R2

World no. 1 and a former Roland Garros champion Novak Djokovic made a winning start in Paris, beating Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 58 minutes for his 304th Major triumph. Djokovic came to Paris after winning the title at home in Belgrade on Saturday, gathering momentum in front of the home fans and playing on a high level tonight on Court Philippe-Chatrier to advance into the second round. Novak fired 33 winners and 21 unforced errors to topple the opponent who gave his best but couldn’t extend the encounter or grab at least one set. Sandgren squandered all six break chances and suffered five breaks from 11 opportunities offered to Djokovic, who controlled the pace from start to finish. Tenny followed Novak’s pace in the most extended exchanges, and the Serb took charge in the shortest and mid-range rallies to seal the deal in style. Djokovic grabbed a break at 15 in the opening game for a strong start and forced Sandgren’s mistake a few minutes later to confirm the advantage.

The American seized the third game at 15 to get his name on the scoreboard before the Serb forced another error in the next one for a 3-1 lead. Novak held at love in game six and scored another break a few minutes later to increase his advantage to 5-2 and secured the opener with a service winner in game eight after 30 minutes.

Novak Djokovic ousted Tennys Sandgren in straight sets in the Roland Garros R1.

Pushing strong, Djokovic converted the fourth break chance in the opening game to move in front before facing troubles on serve in games two and six. Sandgren played well in those moments, producing one good hold after another and earning those break chances that could have sent him in front.

Staying calm, Novak fended off those six break points to stay ahead, recovering his game behind the initial shot in games eight and ten to open two sets to love lead with a forehand winner at 5-4. Djokovic lost only four points behind the initial shot in the third set, and Sandgren couldn’t follow that pace to suffer two breaks. Tennys sprayed a backhand error in the third game to fall behind before Novak landed a volley winner to open a 4-1 gap. Sandgren saved a match point in game seven to extend the clash, and Novak moved over the top with a fine hold at 5-2 to move into the second round.