First step done: Novak Djokovic begins French Open title defence with victory over Herbert

ATP
Tuesday, 28 May 2024 at 23:08
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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic commenced his title defence at the French Open with a win over French wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert (ranked No. 142) by 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4. This victory marks Djokovic's 93rd win at Roland Garros, setting him up for a second-round clash with Roberto Carballes Baena.
In the first set, Djokovic asserted his dominance, showcasing an almost flawless serve, conceding just three points on serve. He secured the first break of the match in the third game, which proved decisive as he clinched the set 6-4. Djokovic's stats were impressive with 11 winners and only 2 unforced errors, while Herbert had 12 winners but 13 unforced errors.
Djokovic started the second set strongly, gaining an early break. However, Herbert showed resilience, played with more precision aiming for the lines, and managed to break back in the next game, capitalising on several unforced errors from Djokovic.
The errors from Djokovic were notable in the second set, increasing his tally to 11 unforced errors and offering his opponent a couple of break opportunities. Despite this, neither player managed another break, leading to a tie-break. Djokovic quickly established a lead in the tie-break, securing the set 7-6(3).
Although Djokovic excelled in crucial moments, Herbert managed to keep the match competitive by holding his serve effectively. The Frenchman won 74% of points on his first serve and hit three aces, maintaining his chances. In the 10th game, Djokovic applied pressure to break Herbert's serve and, after 8 minutes, clinched the match 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 in 2 hours and 33 minutes.
In the second round, Djokovic will face Roberto Carballes Baena (ranked No. 63), who also defeated a Frenchman, winning 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 against Constant Lestienne (ranked No. 91).

World #1 and defending champ Novak Djokovic starts his (tough) quest for a #25 Grand Slam with a 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over multiple Grand Slam (doubles) champ Pierre Hugues Herbert. Nice match. Pierre's style is a joy to watch.

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