Novak Djokovic begins title bid with win over Jarkko Nieminen
Novak Djokovic was a break down in the second set against Finland's Jarkko Nieminen but recovered to record a 6-2 7-5 6-2 win in the French Open first round at Roland Garros.
World number one and tournament favourite Djokovic began his latest bid to complete a career Grand Slam with a solid enough win over world number 87 Nieminen, who served for the second set leading 5-4 but could not quite scramble over the line to make matters more interesting.
"I always feel a lot of emotion when I get back on this court," said the top seed Djokovic, who is chasing a ninth Grand Slam title.
"This year I'm playing very well so far and I hope I will get the confidence I have had since the beginning of the year in the French Open."
In their first match at a Grand Slam event on Tour, Djokovic was unsurprisingly always the likelier figure and his opponent's slim prospect of victory probably disappeared when he failed to restore parity at 1-1 having led 5-2 in the second set.
With the score level at 30-30 in the tenth game of the second set, Djokovic won the next two points to level at 5-5 before benefiting from former world number 13 Nieminen's obvious deflation to close out the set with another break in the 12th game.
The third set was more like a practice session as Djokovic ran through it in around 40 minutes to secure his progress.