Novak Djokovic began his quest for an 18th Grand Slam title with an easy 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Mikael Ymer in the first round of the French Open. Playing at a major for the first time since being defaulted at the US Open, the top-seeded Serb looked in vintage form in the one hour, 39 minute contest.
Djokovic cruises in Paris opener
A double fault by Ymer in the opening game of the match brought up two break points for Djokovic and he struck a backhand winner down the line to grab the early lead. The Swede's forehand let him down in his next service game and gave the Serb a double break advantage.
By contrast, Djokovic's forehand was doing plenty of damage and it brought him to the brink of another break which he earned with another backhand winner. Serving for the set, it was yet another forehand that just clipped the baseline which Ymer sent into the net to give the top seed the first set after only 20 minutes.
He soon had two break chances in the third game of the second set after Ymer missed yet again with the forehand and after drawing the Swede into net with a drop shot, he missed backhand that gave Djokovic a 2-1 lead.
The two men traded breaks, but Ymer hit the shot of the tournament trailing 3-2, 30-15. Running back towards the baseline to retrieve a Djokovic lob, the world number 118 fired off a winner from a between the legs shot that even the Serb had to applaud.
Djokovic soon claimed a second break to go ahead 5-2 and serving for the set, he reached 40-0 with a forehand volley winner wrapping up a two-set lead on his first opportunity. The top seed was using the drop shot effectively all match long and he drew another error from Ymer to break in the third game of the third set.
The Swede hung tough and eventually broke back, but Djokovic closed fast winning the final three games and sealing victory with a forehand winner to cap off a splendid opening performance in Paris.