Novak started his Paris Masters title defence in style.

After lifting trophies in Tel Aviv and Astana in October, Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record-extending seventh Rolex Paris Masters title with a 7-6 (1), 6-4 win in the French capital on Tuesday.

The sixth seed produced a focused and sharp performance against French-born American Maxime Cressy, breaking once and winning 92 per cent (35/38) of points on his first serve, to advance into the third round after one hour and 43 minutes on Court Central.

The two were meeting for the first time.

“It was very intense, just a lot of pressure,” Novak said. “When you play someone that serves that well, you don’t have much room to relax and maybe play kind of a softer few games. You just have to be on your toes all the time. Credit to him for serving big in some big moments. I had my chances in the first set to break him, second as well. A break came at the right time, perfect time actually. I was very pleased with the way I held my serve, didn’t face a break point. What I wanted to do is to really do what I do best, which is just be solid from the back of the court and wait for the opportunities when they are presented, try to capitalise on them… Just overall very pleased with the way I felt and the way I played.”

Match statistics: aces (4-15), double faults (2-10), winners (19-36), unforced errors (5-22), total points won (76-56).

With his 34th victory of the season, Novak set up a last 16 meeting with Karen Khachanov (RUS, ATP #19, H2H 7-1) who defeated Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI) in three sets.

Djokovic will be looking to win a record-extending 39th Masters 1000 crown this week.

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Photo: Profimedia

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