Tuesday, 29 September 2020 18:31

 

Photo Credit:Getty Images.

Novak Djokovic started his French Open campaign with a comfortable win over Sweden's Mikael Ymer as he bids to turn a page on the fiasco at this year's US Open.

The 33-year-old barely broke sweat as he strolled to a straight sets victory, 6-0 6-2 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Djokovic was playing in a first grand slam match since being defaulted from Flushing Meadows in September after hitting a line judge with a ball during his fourth-round game.

He later apologized for the incident but was met by a wave of criticism.

"I had to accept it and move on. Of course, it was a shock for me and a lot of people," Djokovic told reporters ahead of his first-round match at Roland Garros.

His response since that difficult period has been nothing short of impressive. He won his fifth Italian Open title in preparation for this clay-court slam and was rarely troubled against world No. 80 Ymer in the first-round encounter.

A brilliant Djokovic won the first set in 20 minutes without dropping a game but his 22-year-old opponent began to settle down as the match progressed.

Ymer produced a stunning shot between his legs in the second set, a rare highlight in an otherwise bruising encounter against the Serbian's crushing forehand.

It would have been worrying viewing for Djokovic's rivals, including US Open champion Dominic Thiem who watched the opening stages of the tie from the stands.

Meanwhile second seed Karolina Pliskova ended Mayar Sherif's fairytale Grand Slam breakthrough to set up a Roland Garros second round clash against former champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Pliskova, a semifinalist in 2017, squandered eight set points in the opening set as world number 172 Sherif, the first Egyptian woman to play in the main draw at a Slam, took a shock lead.

However, the Czech's greater experience eventually told as she recovered to progress 6-7 (9/11), 6-2, 6-4.