Paris – If Novak Djokovic was hoping to take a little pressure and attention off himself after some rough results, he might very well have found the perfect way to do that by adding Andre Agassi as a coaching consultant of sorts for the French Open.
Well, for up to a week of the tournament, anyway.
With Agassi seated in the stands, generally expressionless during the match and silent afterward, the No. 2-seeded Djokovic was not always at his clean-swinging best while beating Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday to begin the defense of the title that allowed him to complete a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros a year ago.
“I mean, it’s hard to say whether there is significant difference on the court, because it’s only a few days that we are together,” Djokovic said. “So it’s going to take a little bit of time. … I’m patient and, for us, this is a great way to start off our collaboration and friendship and get to know each other and then see where it takes us.”
On a relatively quiet Day 2, Rafael Nadal started his pursuit of a record 10th French Open championship with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Benoit Paire. Other seeded men advancing included No. 5 Milos Raonic, No. 7 Marin Cilic and No. 10 David Goffin, while No. 14 Jack Sock, the top-ranked U.S. man, and No. 31 Gilles Simon – both in Nadal’s section of the draw – plus No. 32 Mischa Zverev all lost.
Defending women’s champion Garbine Muguruza and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won in straight sets, but two seeded American women joined Sock on the way out: No. 19 CoCo Vandeweghe and No. 25 Lauren Davis.
Leave it to the No. 4-seeded Nadal to win relatively simply and then lament a portion of his performance.
“For me,” he said, “it’s important to serve a little bit better than what I did today.”
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