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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday May 28, 2024


Novak Djokovic took the first step in his bid for a record 25th major title on Tuesday night in Paris.

Photo Source: Getty

Novak Djokovic is revving up the intensity in Paris.

The 37-year-old legend commenced his bid for a fourth Roland-Garros title, and third in four years, with a 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in Tuesday's night session in Court Philippe-Chatrier, setting a second-round clash with Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.

Tennis Express

Top-seeded Djokovic needed two hours and 31 minutes to earn his 93rd career win on the Parisian clay – he improves to 367-49 overall at the majors, which ties him with American icon Serena Williams on the all-time Grand Slam singles win list.

“I thought it was a good performance for me, solid,” Djokovic told reporters, adding that he felt he could have returned better. “I could have done better, I think, on return games, but also credit to him for serving very well, for changing things up, for seeing every time I would step back for second serve, you know, give him a little bit different look, he would see that, he would come in.

“His kick is tremendous. Honestly, one of the best kick serves I have faced.”

Djokovic managed to break serve three times from seven opportunities in the contest, and only surrendered one break, in the second set, which he ended up winning in a tiebreak.

“I'm glad that I started the way I started, the way I felt on the court,” Djokovic said of his effort. “Comparing to the previous weeks of tournaments I played, I felt good, better. So I'm moving in a positive direction.

“It's just the beginning.”

Djokovic must reach at least the final to continue his reign atop the ATP rankings. If he does not, second-seeded Jannik Sinner will reach the top spot in the rankings regardless of his result.

If Djokovic reaches the final, Sinner would have to reach at least the semifinals to pass him.

Djokovic can tie Roger Federer atop the all-time Grand Slam match wins list with 369 by reaching the round of 16. If he makes it to the quarterfinals, without receiving a walkover, he would reach the top of the all-time Grand Slam men’s singles win list with 370.


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