Novak Djokovic victory closes Day 2 at French Open

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PARIS — Novak Djokovic’s first Grand Slam match in 7 1/2 months went about as well as possible.

The No. 1-seeded Djokovic opened his title defense at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 victory in less than two hours over Yoshihito Nishioka. He improved to 18-0 for his career in the first round at Roland Garros.

About the only uncomfortable moment for Djokovic might have been when some spectators booed after he let out some yells after winning points in the second set.

The match was played with the retractable roof at Court Philippe Chatrier shut because of rain.

Djokovic, who turned 35, is pursuing a third title in Paris and a 21st Grand Slam trophy overall, which would tie him with Rafael Nadal for the men’s record.

He hadn’t played in a major tournament since losing to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final last September, ending Djokovic’s bid to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam for a man since 1969.

Djokovic could not compete at the Australian Open this January because he has decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. There is no vaccine requirement for the French Open.