French Open

Novak Djokovic begins title bid with win over Jarkko Nieminen

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Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Jarkko Nieminen

Image credit: Reuters

ByDesmond Kane
26/05/2015 at 16:11 | Updated 26/05/2015 at 19:36

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.

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"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.

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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.

He will face Gilles Muller or Paolo Lorenzi in the second round with the prospect of a fascinating quarter-final match against nine-times French Open winner Rafael Nadal looming large on the horizon.


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TennisFrench OpenJarkko NieminenNovak Djokovic
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