Nole made a good start to his bid for a record 23rd major crown.

Two-time French Open titlist, Novak Djokovic, defeated Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (1) in windy conditions on Philippe Chatrier on Monday, to reach the second round in Paris.

The Serbian star did not offer many opportunities to the 114th-ranked American in the first part of the match. He broke once in the first set, and twice in the second to grab a two sets to love lead.

The third set was a tighter affair as the two players exchanged breaks twice, before going to a tie-break. Djokovic won it comfortably 7-1 to clinch his 21st victory this year.

Novak won 82 per cent (37/45) of points behind his first serve.

Match statistics: aces (10-7), double faults (1-4), winners (41-25), unforced errors (22-34), total points won (107-78).

“It’s a pleasure to play here, it’s a great tournament… there are a lot of emotions. I am very motivated for to do well in Paris. Congratulations to Alex for a big battle today. The conditions were difficult. The wind was changing. But I’m happy and I am staying positive,” Djokovic said. “I think in the first and second sets I played really well, but then I missed opportunities and lost a little focus in the third set, but his level was strong. He wasn’t an easy opponent. I had to earn it.”

The match lasted two hours and 26 minutes.

Novak will take on world no.83 Marton Fucsovics of Hungary next (H2H record 4-0).

Photos: Profimedia

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