With a convincing victory over American Aleksandar Kovacevic in the opening round, Novak Djokovic started his French Open campaign on the right foot.
At Roland Garros, the No. 3 seed defeated Kovacevic in straight sets, 6-3 6-2 7-6(7-1), as he started his quest for a third grand slam victory.
His lifetime record now stands at 19-0 as he maintains his perfect record in first-round French Open matches.
Additionally, between Roland Garros 2006 and 2023, the Serbian broke Roger Federer’s previous record by winning 65 straight matches in the first round of grand slam tournaments.
The men’s draw presents a significant potential for several players to emerge and win the Coupe des Mousquetaires because Rafael Nadal, the 14-time champion, is not participating.
The top seed, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, is one of the favorites, but Novak Djokovic also has a strong opportunity to win his 23rd grand slam championship and pass Rafael Nadal for first place on the all-time men’s list, solidifying his position as the best male tennis player in history.
If Djokovic wins a third French Open championship, he will reclaim the top spot in the men’s rankings. Additionally, he now has 86 victories at the Grand Slams, second only behind Nadal’s 112.
The 36-year-old, though, has struggled on clay courts this year, losing in the quarterfinals of three tournaments, and missing another due to an elbow ailment.
However, Djokovic shown no symptoms of rust or anxiety in the first two sets against Kovacevic, calmly dissecting the 24-year-old.
However, Kovacevic, a self-described Djokovic devotee growing up who took for a photo with him at the 2005 US Open when he was seven years old, rallied in the third set, broke the Serbian while he was serving for the match.
When Djokovic cupped his ears to the audience after winning the third set 4-3, he drew jeers from the crowd.
Eventually, Kovacevic fought valiantly enough to send the third set into a tiebreak, which Djokovic easily won.
In the second round, the 22-time grand slam champion will now play Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.