30 May 2017

Djokovic and Nadal win first up at Roland Garros

6:12 am on 30 May 2017

Defending champion Novak Djokovic made a winning French Open start under new coach Andre Agassi, cruising past Spain's Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the first round.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fourth seed Rafael Nadal beat Frenchman Benoit Paire first up.

Djokovic, the 12-times grand slam champion parted company with his entire coaching team earlier this month after a string of disappointing results before inviting American great Andre Agassi to work with him during the French Open.

Agassi, however, will only stay for the first week of the tournament due to prior obligations, Djokovic said.

The 30-year-old Serbian, without a tour title since January, found little resistance from Granollers, grabbing two breaks early on in the first set as he chased the 77th-ranked Spaniard around the court.

"It was different for me being here this time because being defending champion gave me a lot of relief.

"I wanted to start off well, engage all engines in the right way which I have done," Djokovic said.

With eight-times grand slam champion Agassi making a fast exit from the stands at the conclusion of the match, Djokovic heaped praise on his new coach.

"It is an incredible honour and good luck to have him with me on the team," Djokovic said. "Every day is special with him. I am learning something every day."

Meanwhile Nadal smoothly negotiated the potential stumbling block presented by Paire, launching his bid for a 10th French Open trophy with a largely routine 6-1 6-4 6-1 win.