French Open: Defending champions Djokovic, Muguruza make second round | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 29.05.2017
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French Open: Defending champions Djokovic, Muguruza make second round

Title holders Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza have both advanced to the second round of the French Open. Rafael Nadal also progressed, keeping him on course for a semifinal showdown with Djokovic.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic opened the defense of his Roland Garros title with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over the 77th-ranked player, Marcel Granollers of Spain on Monday.  Granollers didn't make things easy for the Djokovic, whose form has dipped since completing his career Grand Slam in Paris 12 months ago. The Serbian dropped serve four times and required nine set points to claim the second set against a player who had only won 10 games in their previous three encounters.

Having fired his entire coaching staff earlier this year, the 30-year-old is hoping that former tennis star Andre Agassi will be able to rectify what's been ailing him. 

 "Andre has left already. He's waiting for me for a serious talk,"Djokovic laughed afterwards. "It's great to have Andre Agassi as coach and as a mentor. I will try to learn as much as I can from him,"he added.

Djokovic is to face either compatriot Janko Tipsarevic or Portugal's Joao Sousa for a place in the last 32.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal took the first step toward a 10th title at Roland Garros with his 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Benoit Paire, running his record at the event to 73-2. Should he do so, the 30-year-old Spaniard would become the first man to win 10 titles at any single Grand Slam event. However, he may have to beat Djokovic to claim number 10, as the draw has put them on course to meet in the semifinals, should both make it that far.

Germany's Mischa Zverev, seeded 32, went down to unfancied Italian Stefano Napolitano in four sets, while his younger brother Alexander must complete his match against Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco tomorrow - that match is tied at a set apiece.

Muguruza bests Schiavone

Frankreich | French Open | Garbine Muguruza zoeht in die zweite Runde ein (picture-alliance/AP Photo/C. Ena)

Muguruza hasn't been at her best recently

On the women's side, Garbine Muguruza opened her title defense by beating Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4.  Muguruza also hasn't been at her best lately and arrived in Paris with just three wins on clay. The fourth seed is to meet Estonia's Anett Kontaveit for a place in round 3.     

"I cannot believe in the first round we have two ex-champions. Not only that but Francesca is a legend and I was very excited to play on Philippe Chatrier court with her," said Muguruza, referring to the fact that Schiavone, now 36, had won the tournament in 2010.

"It was a tough first match, Schiavone can be a very tricky player," the 23-year-old Spaniard said. "No matter whom I play it's going to be difficult. 

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, the 11th seed who missed the event a year ago, also got through the first round, beating  Australia's Jaimee Fourlis 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. 

pfd/mp (AFP,dpa)

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