Djokovic, Nadal open with straight-set wins at Roland Garros

The Novak Djokovic-Andre Agassi pairing got off to a victorious start at the French Open on Monday. Djokovic rolled through his first-round meeting Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 after two hours and 27 minutes.

A relative disaster in the opening half of this year compared to what he was early in 2016 en route to Australian Open and French Open titles, Djokovic parted ways from his entire team at the beginning of this clay-court swing. Enter Agassi, whom the world No. 2 hired–at least on a part-time basis for Roland Garros–after falling in the recent Rome final to Alexander Zverev.

Djokovic was not at his very best throughout his 2017 French Open debut, but he still had more than enough in the tank to get past Granollers without too much trouble.

“He is the way he is,” the Serb said of Agassi. “And I’m not gonna tell him how he’s going to behave in the box or whatever. I don’t have a right to do that; I’m never gonna do that. I like him the way he is.

“It’s obviously the first match that he has watched, courtside from the box (in the) role of a coach, so it was very interesting for me to experience and feel what I’m going to feel on the court when that’s happening. But I actually felt very much focused on what I needed to do, so it wasn’t really disturbing in any way to me. It’s quite special. I’m honored. But at the same time, we are a team. So we are there for a reason. It was completely fine.”

Rafael Nadal, who could eventually run into Djokovic in the bottom-half semifinal, joined his rival in round two by taking care of Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-4, 6-1. Nadal needed only one hour and 52 minutes to reach the round of 64.

“At the start (of the tournament, I’m) happy for the victory,” the Spaniard commented. “(Paire) was not an easy opponent in the first round, obviously. He’s an uncomfortable opponent that already he had some good victories this year. I came on court with a lot of respect, no?

“I think I played very (good) first set. During the second I suffered a little bit, especially [at] 4-3. After that I make the break and then finished a close set–and it was a little bit less difficult.”

“Every time I play against Rafa, the [matches] are not good,” Paire admitted. “It’s of course very frustrating every time I play against…. He’s exceptional. He moves really fast; he hits really hard. But I miss a lot of opportunities when I’m against him…. When I wanted to be aggressive, I missed.”

Up next for Nadal on Wednesday at Roland Garros is Robin Haase, who eased past Alex De Minaur in straight sets. Djokovic awaits Joao Sousa on Tuesday.

Agassi at Djokovic’s match:

9 Comments on Djokovic, Nadal open with straight-set wins at Roland Garros

    • Don’t bother to read. Djoko isnt that young either; or for that matter Stan too. Yet to be seen, that the likes of Thiem or Zverev or even Goffin could do the job of winning it this time. We have to wait and see…,

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