Advertisement

French Open 2022: Novak Djokovic opens title defense with straight-sets win

1/3
French Open 2022: Novak Djokovic opens title defense with straight-sets win
Novak Djokovic of Serbia (pictured) returns a serve from Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in their men's first-round match during the French Open tennis tournament on Monday at Roland Garros in Paris. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE

May 23 (UPI) -- Top-seeded Novak Djokovic began his title defense at the 2022 French Open with a straight-sets win over Yoshihito Nishioka on Monday.

Djokovic earned a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 victory in less than two hours over Nishioka. With the win, he improved to 18-0 for his career in the first round at Roland Garros.

Advertisement

The 35-year-old Djokovic is chasing his third title in Paris and 21st Grand Slam trophy overall, which would tie him with Rafael Nadal for the men's record.

"I have to be pleased with the match," Djokovic said. "I struggled to adapt in the first set. [Nishioka] is a very quick player. The first set was close, but I cruised through the second and third. I always expect the highest for myself, but it was a very good start."

RELATED French Open: Anisimova eliminates Osaka, top women upset

Djokovic hadn't played in a major tournament since losing to Daniil Medvedev in September's U.S. Open final. The loss ended Djokovic's bid to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam for a male since 1969.

Advertisement

The Serbian wasn't allowed to compete at the Australian Open in January because of his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There isn't a vaccination requirement for the French Open.

Nadal, meanwhile, reached another milestone at the French Open on Monday as he won his 106th match at Roland Garros.

RELATED French Open tennis: Djokovic's hard path, Swiatek's streak highlight draw

The 13-time French Open champion cruised to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over Australia's Jordan Thompson in the first round, wrapping up the match in just over two hours.

Nadal's win-loss record at Roland Garros now stands at 106-3, better than any male player has managed at any of the four Grand Slam events. Djokovic (twice) and Robin Soderling are the only men to defeat him at the tournament.

The Spaniard's victory also was his 299th in Grand Slams, a total exceeded only by Roger Federer and Djokovic.

RELATED Novak Djokovic, unvaccinated tennis players cleared for Wimbledon 2022

Nadal is set to face Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the second round.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement