|Dates: 28 Might-11 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris|
|Protection: Reside textual content and radio commentaries of chosen matches throughout BBC Radio 5 Sports activities Additional, the BBC Sport web site and app|
Novak Djokovic started his marketing campaign for a report twenty third males’s Grand Slam singles title with victory and world primary Carlos Alcaraz additionally progressed to the second spherical at Roland Garros.
Serbia’s Djokovic, a two-time champion in Paris, claimed a 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-1) win over Aleksandar Kovacevic.
US Open champion Alcaraz additionally got here via in straight units, beating Italian Flavio Cobolli 6-0 6-2 7-5.
The 2 are in the identical half of the draw and could meet in the semi-finals.
After beating American Kovacevic, who’s of Serbian heritage, Djokovic wrote on a digital camera lens: “Kosovo is the center of Serbia. Cease the violence.”
The assertion was a reference to latest pressure in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
Serbia has by no means recognised Kosovo’s independence and there has been violence in the past days following the set up of ethnic Albanian mayors within the north of the nation.
Chatting with Serbian journalists, Djokovic, whose father was born in Kosovo, mentioned: “I’m not a politician, nor do I intend to enter into debates.
“As a Serb, it hurts me what is going on in Kosovo. Our folks have been expelled from the municipalities. That is the least I may do. As a public determine, I really feel an obligation to point out assist for our folks and all of Serbia.
“I hear there was a number of criticism on social media. I do not know if somebody will punish me or one thing like that, however I’d do it once more. I’m in opposition to wars and conflicts of any variety.
“Kosovo is our coronary heart, stronghold, the centre of an important occasions, the largest battle happened there, probably the most monasteries. There are lots of the reason why I wrote this.”
Djokovic was concerned in a political row at January’s Australian Open after his father, Srdjan, was filmed posing for pictures with supporters of Russia president Vladimir Putin.
Alcaraz’s second main bid begins easily
Spain’s Alcaraz cruised via the primary two units earlier than finally taking his fifth match level after Cobolli had threatened to pressure a fourth set.
The 20-year-old will face Japan’s Taro Daniel subsequent as he continues his bid for a second main title.
Requested about his strategy to the game after Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas yesterday described him as a “breath of contemporary air”, Alcaraz mentioned: “I heard that Stefanos mentioned he was beginning to take pleasure in his tennis extra due to me.
“For me it is an important factor to take pleasure in and smile on court docket.”
Djokovic was pressured to play a 3rd set tie-break in opposition to the 114nd-ranked Kovacevic after being damaged as he served for the match within the tenth sport.
That got here after the group had booed his celebration when he broke again in opposition to the American halfway via the set.
“I performed properly within the first two units however then I missed alternatives and misplaced a bit focus,” Djokovic, who will face Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics subsequent, mentioned.
“However additionally it is an indication of Aleks’ degree, which was getting higher. If you get to a Grand Slam it isn’t the opponent who offers you the victory, it’s important to earn it.”
Thiem ‘on proper observe’ after going from tennis heaven to tennis hell
Two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem hopes he’s on his means again to “tennis heaven” regardless of falling to a slim defeat in opposition to Argentine Pedro Cachin.
Thiem, who completed runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2018 and 2019, fought again from two units down however was in the end edged out 6-3 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 6-2.
The 2020 US Open winner’s progress was derailed by a wrist harm in 2021 which stored him off the ATP Tour for 10 months however he has since climbed again into the world’s prime 100.
Discussing the feelings of latest years and his bid to return to the highest of the boys’s sport, Thiem mentioned: “It was precisely like that, from tennis heaven to tennis hell, and now hopefully again to tennis heaven.
“It is an excellent problem that I am going through proper now. It is powerful clearly however I am actually satisfied with the way in which that I am going, particularly the final six weeks. That is after I began to be actually into my profession once more, actually push myself daily to the restrict.
“However six weeks shouldn’t be sufficient but to make a deep run right here. I’ve to proceed working like that.
“I really feel that I am heading in the right direction once more. Immediately I simply did not reward myself.”
Auger-Aliassime turns into first males’s top-10 seed to fall
Elsewhere on day two, Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime grew to become the primary males’s top-10 seed to exit the clay main.
The tenth seed misplaced 6-4 6-4 6-3 to Italy’s Fabio Fognini in his fourth first-round defeat in 5 years at Roland Garros.
Italian eighth seed Jannik Sinner overpowered France’s Alexandre Muller 6-1 6-4 6-1 in a single hour and 46 minutes within the evening session match on Courtroom Philippe Chatrier.
American twelfth seed Frances Tiafoe progressed with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic, whereas there have been additionally victories for top-20 seeds Alex de Minaur and Roberto Bautista Agut.
Australian 18th seed De Minaur beat Belarusian Ilya Ivashka in 4 units, whereas Spain’s nineteenth seed Bautista Agut wrapped up a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 6-1 win over China’s Wu Yibing.
Canadian twenty sixth seed Denis Shapovalov battled to a 6-4 7-5 4-6 3-6 6-3 win over American Brandon Nakashima.
Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland’s 2015 champion, misplaced a two-set lead in opposition to Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas earlier than rallying within the decider to win 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 1-6 6-4 win.