25 May 2016

Djokovic and Nadal enjoy easy wins in Paris

7:42 am on 25 May 2016

The men's world tennis number one Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal eased to opening wins at the French Open but Andy Murray, one of their main title rivals, came perilously close to going home before joining them in the second round.

Djokovic, who's yet to win the Roland Garros grand slam, beat Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets while Nadal brushed aside Australian Sam Groth in just over an hour.

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning a point.

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning a point. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Second seed Murray came from two sets down to beat 37-year-old Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in a five set thriller.

Germany's Angelique Kerber, who four months ago downed Williams to win the Australian Open, was sent tumbling out by Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens who won 6-2 3-6 6-3.

Third seed Kerber was troubled by a shoulder injury while later fifth seed Victoria Azarenka, the former world number one, hobbled out with a knee injury against Italy's Karin Knapp when she trailed 4-0 in the deciding set.

The women's draw has now lost three of the top seven seeds.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.