French Open 2016: Djokovic cruises through first match

The world no.1 breezed past Lu Yen-Hsun 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.

French Open 2016: Djokovic cruises through first match
Cruise control for Novak. | Photo: Getty

Novak Djokovic's quest to win his first French Open title, which would see him become just the eighth man in history to complete the Career Slam, and become just the second man after Rod Laver to hold all four major titles at the same time, got off to the expected start, with him comfortably defeating Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei in straight sets.

Djokovic having to be wary

The world no.1 headed onto Court Philippe Chatrier knowing he couldn't afford to be lacklustre and lethargic. This was especially after seeing his rivals struggle in their opening games.

Andy Murray needed to come from two sets down to eventually come past 37-year old Radek Stepanek, while defending champion Stan Wawrinka, the man who handed Djokovic his only Slam defeat of 2015 in last year's final, also needed to come from behind to win in five against Lukas Rosol.

The Serbian also needed to not downplay his opponent Lu; no pushover at all and a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist back in 2010 (with Djokovic ironically the man to end Lu's run in their only other previous meeting) to boot.

The first six games of the match went with serve, before Djokovic made his first significant move to break after Lu fired a forehand wide. However, the 32-year-old immediately broke back, but only for "Rendy", as he's nicknamed, to lose serve again and Djokovic wouldn't relinquish the advantage this time, taking the opening set 6-4.

One down, six to go | Image Credit: Roland Garros
One down, six to go? | Photo: Roland Garros

Novak not needing to get out of first gear

Witnessing Murray and Wawrinka barely surviving their first excursions of the French capital meant there could have been some wondering whether Lu, like Stepanek and Rosol before him, may provide a much sterner test to the world's best than first anticipated.

In reality though, Djokovic was always in cruise control, easing himself into the second major of the year and getting used to the Parisian clay once again. Three breaks of serve in the second set did the damage, as the 11-time major winner took it with ease, 6-1.

The top seed continued to proceed as normal, and just like the first couple of sets, Djokovic was never really threatened by his opponent - the man ranked number 95 in the world, but playing his first match on the tour this year following an elbow injury.

He wrapped up his first of what he hopes will be seven victories towards history over the coming fortnight by taking the third set 6-1, and thus sealing the match in just over an hour and a half.

Djokovic will now play Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis, most famous for beating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2013, in the second round on Thursday, after he defeated Turkey's Marsel Ilhan in straight sets.