The Serbian, coming back from an injury absence which has seen him dip out of the world’s top 20 for the first time since he was a teenager, dropped his serve in the opening game of the match But it proved a false alarm as the 12-time grand slam winner brushed aside his Brazilian opponent 6-3 6-4 6-4 LIVE Stream the 2018 Roland Garros Tournament on FOX SPORTS.SIGN UP NOW> While a routine victory over the world No 134 may not be proof that Djokovic is ready to mount a sustained challenge to Rafael Nadal for the Roland Garros crown, it was at least an encouraging start for the 2016 champion Djokovic after the match reflected on his long road to recovery from a right elbow injury, which forced him out of action for six months last year “I had to dig deep,” Djokovic said.“It has been difficult to face .the most, say, challenging injury that I have ever had It’s been a long 12 months behind me, but I’m starting to play better, I feel like, in the past couple of weeks “Not thinking about the elbow.Playing pain-free, which is the most important thing at the moment ” Another former Paris winner, Stan Wawrinka, bowed out after a three and a half-hour marathon against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez The Swiss star, beset by knee problems for two years and seeded a lowly 23, needed lengthy treatment during the first set and appeared unlikely to be able to play on But not only did Wawrinka continue, he went on to take a 2-1 lead only to lose an epic five-setter 2-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 Wawrinka said after the match that he knows what it takes to return to the top of world tennis “I won three Grand Slams in my career .And my goal is to get to my top.Sooner or later, I will ” Elsewhere, third seed Dominic Thiem was too strong for Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, winning 6-2 6-4 6-1 while 13th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut moved through in five sets over Denis Istomin Rising Greek teen Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced at the expense of Carlos Taberner in four sets, while there were also wins for Benoit Paire, Karen Khachanov and Dusan Lajovic Nevertheless, Norrie had looked assured and in complete control before Gojowczyk, the world No 43 from Germany, called it quits.“I didn’t see it coming, not at all,” Norrie said “He was hitting the ball big and hitting well.It didn’t look like anything was bothering him too much “But I think start of the second set on his serve and then a little bit on his movement, I wrong-footed him a couple times “I was playing great.I was serving really well.I think that that was the best tennis I have played in my life I think I was in the zone and not making any unforced errors, being the one dictating play ” Argentina’s Marco Trungelliti took a longer path than most to Paris but a 10-hour drive proved fruitful after his surprise 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 win over Bernard Tomic Trungelliti arrived in the French capital after midnight after getting a late call-up following the withdrawal of Tomic’s compatriot Nick Kyrgios

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Dennis Veasley

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