Nadal launches French Open title bid

Rafael Nadal followed Djokovic into the second round as he began his quest for a 10th French Open title with a straightforward 6-1 6-4 6-1 victory over Benoit Paire.

Djokovic, who completed a career Grand Slam in Paris a year ago but has been struggling with form and confidence since, is also set to play on the showcase court.

Channelling the confidence built up during a 17-match winning streak in taking claycourt titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Nadal then pulled clear as Paire suffered a reaction to taking energy tablets.

- Italian Open champion Svitolina, who reached the quarter-finals of the French Open in 2015, will face Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.

The 30-year-old Spaniard, who is seeking an unprecedented 10th title at Roland Garros, beat Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round. "I will try to learn as much as I can from him".

On Monday, as he watched Djokovic play, he was greeted by Boris Becker who gave up coaching the Serb in December after three years together.

"For me, it's important to serve a little bit better than what I did today".

Victory for the 12-time major victor was the ideal way to mark his 50th successive Grand Slam appearance but the world No 2 will need to improve if he is to defend his Roland Garros title. I did not think days would come when you feel different.

With Andre Agassi in his corner for the first time, the former world no. 1 sealed his win in two hours and 27 minutes as he attempts to play himself back into something resembling his best form after a turbulent start to 2017. He moves really fast, he hits really hard, but I miss a lot of opportunities when I'm against him.

Also on the women's side, 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki needed three sets, but ultimately prevailed over Jaimee Fourlis, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Sousa defeated Djokovic's compatriot Janko Tipsarevic 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-2 in their first round match. So for me, it was really unusual to get to feel what I felt the end of last season, ” Djokovic said, “because I always, even when I would face that before in my career, I felt that I would overcome it very quickly.”. "I'm feeling good, I'm playing good tennis and I'm happy to be back in Paris".

"I connected with him very quickly".

Elsewhere, Nicolas Mahut, Mischa Zverev, Jack Sock and Gilles Simon all fell at the first hurdle, there were regulation first round wins for Milos Raonic and David Goffin, while Alexander Zverev and Fernando Verdasco were called off for bad light at a set apiece.

  • Julie Sanders