Tennis: Djokovic’s bid for second French Open off to glum-faced start


PARIS (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic launched his marketing campaign for a second French Open title with a moody victory over Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva on Monday, profitable 6-Three 6-Four 6-4.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Might 28, 2018 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates throughout his first spherical match towards Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

In his quest to change into the primary males’s participant within the Open period to win every of the Grand Slams twice, Djokovic, who underwent surgical procedure on his elbow after January’s Australian Open, regarded sad even when he was stroking winners previous his opponent.

“You don’t at all times get to really feel your greatest however all you are able to do is attempt to get the most effective out of it,” the Serbian instructed a packed Philippe Chatrier court docket.

Djokovic, who didn’t play a aggressive match between Wimbledon final July and Melbourne, endured a tricky run into Roland Garros. He fell within the second rounds at Barcelona and Madrid earlier than reaching the semi-finals in Rome, the place he was defeated by world primary Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic has by no means misplaced to a participant ranked as little as Dutra Silva at quantity 134, however the claycourt specialist pushed his opponent across the court docket drawing frequent outbursts of frustration from the Serb.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Might 28, 2018 Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva in motion throughout his first spherical match towards Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“He’s a fighter. It was a superb check for the primary match,” Djokovic instructed a information convention.

The 2016 Roland Garros champion mentioned he felt he was starting to play higher and freed from ache after “a protracted 12 months”. This yr is the primary that Djokovic has not received a tour-level title previous to the French Open.

Requested if the tour was too demanding on gamers he replied: “The very fact is now we have the longest season of all sports activities and that’s sadly hurting numerous gamers.

“All of us attempt to be match, get our our bodies and thoughts in the very best state so we are able to at all times compete on the highest degree but it surely’s not at all times attainable.”

Djokovic faces Spain’s unseeded Jaume Munar within the second spherical.

Reporting by Richard Lough; Modifying by Christian Radnedge

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