Paris, France (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and third-seeded
Roger Federer were a pair of first-round winners Monday at the French Open.
The Serbian star Djokovic got past Italian Potito Starace 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-1
at Stade Roland Garros. The reigning Australian Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon
champion needs the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam. He would hold
all four major titles with a big victory here next week.
Djokovic lost to Federer in the French Open semifinals last year, which halted
a brilliant 45-match winning streak by the super Serb.
The high-flying Djokovic's second-round opponent will be Slovenian Blaz Kavic,
who downed fading former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam titlist Lleyton
Hewitt of Australia 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3.
Federer, meanwhile, posted a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win over German Tobias Kamke to
improve his Grand Slam win-loss record to 233-35. He is now tied with Jimmy
Connors (233-49) for the most Grand Slam wins in the Open Era (since 1968).
The 16-time Grand Slam winner Federer, who captured the French Open title in
2009 to complete his career Grand Slam, lost to six-time champion Rafael Nadal
in last year's finale here. Federer is a four-time French Open runner-up to
his great rival Nadal.
Federer is looking to become the first man aged 30 or over to win a Grand Slam
title since Andre Agassi won the 2003 Australian Open at 32 years, 272 days.
Andres Gomez was the last man to win Roland Garros over the age of 30, when he
won the 1990 title at 30 years, 130 days.
Tenth-seeded American John Isner continued his fine play on red clay this year
with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva. The 6-foot-10
Isner is now 7-3 on crushed red brick for the season.
Fifteenth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez exited the draw while trailing
France's Florent Serra 0-5 in the first set on Monday.
Other seeded winners were No. 20 Spaniard Marcel Granollers, No. 22 Italian
Andreas Seppi and No. 31 South African Kevin Anderson. Seppi subdued fading
former top-five star and two-time French Open semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko
of Russia 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.
The 2012 Roland Garros titlist will earn $1.57 million.
The Sports Network